The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has confirmed that it will not issue new telecoms and broadcasting licences between 1st October 2022 and 30th September 2023.
The regulator said that this period would allow it to assess the level of competition in Namibia’s mobile market and determine the level of market saturation. In addition, CRAN will identify the hurdles facing prospective market entrants.
CRAN CEO Emilia Nghikembua stated that while no new applications for licences will be accepted during this hiatus, the regulator will review any requests to update, withdraw, transfer or cancel currently active telecoms or broadcasting licences. Any action taken will be subject to feasibility. CommsUpdate reports that the regulator will only consider spectrum licence applications from current licensees.
Nghikembua stated that the suspension would ensure a fixed data set for CRAN’s market audit, bringing the review in line with international best practice and previous sector reports. “While the temporary postponement of the award of new Telecommunication and Broadcasting Service Licences will impact the business plans of prospective providers or Telecommunication and Broadcasting services, it is paramount that CRAN continuously intervenes in the market dynamics to ensure fair competition, and remove barriers to market entry for the benefit of consumers”, she said.