Namibian operator MTC has called for the country’s government to end its ongoing moratorium on the deployment of 5G networks as it lays the foundation for its own fifth generation network.
Local outlet The Namibian reports that MTC is currently in discussions with the government around lifting the moratorium. As reported by TeleGeography, MTC has long maintained that its spectrum allocation does not correspond to its subscriber base, which is the largest in the market. This has resulted in capacity problems which have prevented it from delivering 3G and 4G services in more remote areas. MTC estimates that it will require 100MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum to deploy a 5G network.
MTC spokesperson Tim Ekandjo noted that 5G would be instrumental in Namibia’s fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), saying: “It is important that a conducive policy framework is in place to stimulate participation rather than inhibiting it. We must note that 5G is a fundamental platform for 4IR … 5G combines greater data transfer speeds and heightened processing power to enable IoT connectivity on a massive scale. It would have a significant impact on every aspect of our digital lives - with 5G comes high data rates, reduced latency, energy savings, cost reductions.”
Ekandjo struck out at the government’s rationale behind the 5G moratorium, adding: “Sadly, we still have a moratorium on 5G in Namibia, and it is rather unfortunate that a country that has always been first in rolling out such technologies has now become the last due to conspiracy theories that have never made sense in the first place.”
MTC has signed a cooperation agreement with Chinese vendor Huawei and the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) as it prepares for the advent of 5G in the market.
NUST vice chancellor Erold Naomab said: “We are proud to extend our partnership with MTC to Huawei under the framework of the Smart Campus Initiative. As partners, we are all committed to pooling resources, expertise, and networks to improve competitiveness through trans-disciplinary research, co-creation and co-development, application and transfer of specialised knowledge, and technology aligned with NUST’s signature programme.”