According to BMA sources, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has announced that no telecommunications and broadcasting entities will be allocated new licenses between the last quarter of 2022 and 2023.
In the interim, the regulator plans to evaluate competition levels within Nambia’s mobile market and assess market saturation. Furthermore, the regulator has notified that it intends to determine new entities’ challenges before resuming licence allocation.
Emilia Nghikembua, CEO of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), said, “the regulator is currently not accepting any new application for licences, but will review any inquiries to update, withdraw, transfer or cancel active telecoms or broadcasting licences”.
Any decision taken by the regulator will be based on viability.
Furthermore, the regulator indicated that it will only accept spectrum licence applications from current licensees.
According to Nghikembua, the CRAN Chief Executive Officer, the delay will provide sufficient data collection for CRAN’s market audit, allowing the review to align with international best practices and prior sector reports.
“Although the brief pause on issuing new telecommunication and broadcasting service licences may affect business objects of new providers or existing telecommunication and broadcasting services, it is essential for the regulator to assess the market consistently to guarantee fair practice and competition; and eliminate hindrances to market penetration for consumers advantage”, the CEO mentioned.
The regulator will pause on new applications to ensure a fixed data set for CRAN’s market audit and assess the level of competitive fairness and market saturation within Namibia’s telecommunication industry.
The suspension of new licences is between 1st October 2022 and 30th September 2023.