Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) has launched the second phase of its rural telephony project, dubbed ‘Nteletsa II’, aimed at providing telecoms services to almost 200 villages for the first time, local news source Mmegi Online reports. The project forms part of the government’s Rural Telecommunications Development Programme, which hopes to boost the nation’s teledensity by improving access to voice and data services in rural areas. Under Nteletsa II, telecoms infrastructure and services were extended to 197 villages in the districts of Chobe, Ghantsi, Kgalagadi, Central, Kgatleng, North West and Kweneng. ‘The fulfilment of the Nteletsa project will bring remote areas in Botswana together through telecommunications services,’ noted Keabetswe Segole, acting CEO of BTC, adding, ‘Funding this project is a promising sign of the government's dedication to bringing all of Botswana into 21st century communications. BTC is glad to be the vehicle driving the country towards improved telecommunication availability.’
The Nteletsa project began in 1999, when BTC was awarded an exclusive contract for the rural telephony project. The first areas to be connected were Tuli Block and Barolong, followed by Tswapong, Ngwaketse, Kweneng, and the Southern and North East districts. In 2008 the government awarded contracts for Nteletsa II to BTC, as well as mobile operator Mascom Wireless and local consortium Kuto Lamworld Telenet.