The Namibia Economist reports that cellco Mobile Telecommunications (MTC) has launched an HSDPA/HSUPA 3.5G upgrade on parts of its network, enabling maximum theoretical download/upload speeds of 7.2Mbps/1.4Mbps. The operator has also this week announced the launch of a project to implement a Single Radio Access Network (SRAN) which combines several technologies in the same hardware, and is designed to generate energy and maintenance savings whilst improving quality of service. The 3.5G/SRAN network upgrade programme will cost around NAD183 million (USD25.5 million) in total. MTC says SRAN architecture will also allow it to introduce ‘4G’ technology smoothly in the future. The cellco added that in terms of data and internet access, its network upgrade is critical to meet the levels of bandwidth demand expected in Namibia by September 2011 following the launch of the WACS submarine cable. MTC and Telecom Namibia have each invested USD15 million in the cable project, which will significantly reduce prices of international IP transmission with a knock-on effect on local internet access. The SRAN and 3.5G upgrade is being rolled out initially in the capital Windhoek, with a wider deployment across the country in the second quarter of 2010. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MTC launched commercial 3G/3.5G W-CDMA/HSDPA services in December 2006.