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Infrastructure

Botswana TelecomsTelecommunications

The principal telecommunications service provider in Botswana is Botswana Telecommunications Corporation who provides a variety of services including basic touch tone telephone, fax, telex, Internet, VSAT, paging system, digit PABX, voicemail, toll-free leased lines and packet switching data services as well as installation. BTC has installed packet switching services to provide for high-speed data communication. With 195 000 mobile subscribers and 132 866 fixed-line connections by December 2000, Botswana is in the enviable position of being among the top four countries in the region in terms of telephone penetration.

Broadband Internet has been introduced through ADSL, satellite Internet and wireless WI-FI technologies. Most areas in cities have wireless networks, as well as hotspots in shopping malls and café bars.

Useful Contact:
Botswana Telecommunications Corporation
P.O. Box 700 Gaborone
Tel: +2673958000 Fax: +2673913355
Website: www.btc.bw

Telephone Mainlines per 1000 People (Units)

Country 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Angola 5 5 6 6 7
Botswana 77 83 85 87 75
DRC 0 0 0 0 --
Lesotho 10 10 10 13 --
Malawi 4 4 5 7 8
Mauritius 219 235 256 270 285
Mozambique 5 5 5 5 --
Namibia 62 62 64 65 66
South Africa
128 114 11 107 --
Swaziland 32 32 31 34 44
Tanzania 5 5 4 5 4
Zambia 8 8 8 8 8
Zimbabwe 21 22 22 25 26

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2005

Mobile Phones per 1000 People (Units)

Country 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Angola 2 2 6 9 --
Botswana 57 112 188 241 297
DRC 0 0 3 11 19
Lesotho 6 10 26 42 --
Malawi 2 5 5 8 13
Mauritius 87 151 227 289 267
Mozambique 1 3 9 14 23
Namibia 17 46 55 80 116
South Africa
120 191 227 304 364
Swaziland 14 33 54 61 84
Tanzania 2 6 13 19 25
Zambia 3 10 11 13 22
Zimbabwe 15 27 29 30 32

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2005

Air Services

Botswana is well served with air transport. The national airline, Air Botswana, operates domestically and regionally, tailoring its route network and timetable to the needs of business and leisure passengers and in support of tourism. The domestic services are between Gaborone and Francistown and Maun and Kasane, and regional services operate between Gaborone and Johannesburg, Windhoek (Namibia) and Harare (Zimbabwe). In addition, Air Botswana operates direct flights between Johannesburg and Maun (Okavango Delta) and between Johannesburg and Kasane (Chobe River and National Park) via Limpopo Valley Airfield (Tuli Block). The busy shuttle between Gaborone and Johannesburg is also operated by South African Express Airways, both airlines providing the short hour-long flight several times a day.

Charter companies operate a variety of services in different parts of the country, by light aircraft to the tourist lodges and camps in the Okavango and Chobe regions. Air Botswana carries limited cargo on scheduled flights and also operates regular dedicated cargo services between Gaborone and Johannesburg.

Dry Port Facilities

Botswana Railways operates Gabcon, the Gaborone container terminal that provides containerised door-to-door delivery direct from the port or supplier to the recipient's warehouse or factory. The facility can handle 3m, 6m and 12m containers in the secure, bonded area and can reduce average delivery time by avoiding clearance formalities at the port and by clearing paperwork before the goods arrive in Gaborone. Other container terminals are Francon in Francistown and a dry port in Selebi-Phikwe.

Road Network

Botswana has over 20 000km of roads and tracks. A network of good tarred roads extends along the eastern side of the country, linking Botswana with South Africa to the south, Zambia and Zimbabwe to the north. The Trans-Kalahari Highway links the capitals of Botswana and Namibia (Windhoek) and serves as a strategic link in the Maputo-Walvis Bay Economic Corridor.

Rail

The railway system consists of 641km of main line linking Botswana with South Africa and Zimbabwe. There are three branch lines covering 250km, one carrying coal from Morupule to Palapye, another carrying copper-nickel matte from Selebi-Phikwe to Serule and the third of 175km carrying salt and soda ash from Sua Pan to Francistown.

Postal Services

Botswana Postal Services is a parastatal organisation operating more than 100 post offices and 70 agencies throughout the country. The internal mail is conveyed by road or rail and surface mail to South Africa is conveyed by road. There are no door-to-door deliveries but post office boxes are available at post offices and there is also a private bag service. All foreign mail is routed to Gaborone for onward dispatch by air, sea and road via Johannesburg.

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