MTC cries foul over spectrum
Telecommunications operators are unhappy with what they say is unfair play in the allocation of spectrum as issued by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN).
This week CRAN revealed how it plans to distribute spectrum to licensed operators for specific spectrum allotments. At that same meeting, Mobile Telecommunications Ltd (MTC), Telecom Namibia Mobile (TN) and the national broadcaster NBC voiced concerns, stating the need for fair allocation of spectrum which they say should be justified by use.
MTC serves 95% of the mobile market in terms of served demographics with a spectrum use of only 22%. Compared to other major mobile service providers in the region, MTC occupies less spectrum to serve more users.
MTC’s argument is that there is little transparency in clearing up spectrum for other uses. “Spectrum allocation should clearly define what ought to be done in benefit to the consumer.” MTC’s Ludwig Tjitandi said.
The mobile cellphone operator claims that there remains a few glitches in the current allocation of spectrum which needs fixing particularly where outdated services still use allocated spectrum.
“Entry into the spectrum band plan allows for a given frequency to be allocated for the purpose of its use by one or more terrestrial or space radio communication services under specified conditions such as providing a mobile service” CRAN stated.
MTC views spectrum as crucial for the future of 4.5G and 5.G take-up by the consumer in the 60MHZ spectrum band to deploy a high speed network. The NBC plans to expand language service by balancing out coverage to 10 other radio language services per site where possible. The NBC recommends that CRAN develop a channeling plan for the FM Sound Broadcasting services as they have only one downlink which redistributes the signal to other parts of the country.
As of yet, the NBC’s FM sound broadcasting has not made a digital migration as seen with the introduction of set top boxes for television viewing.
CRAN will not offer DTT broadcasting services in the 697-790 MHz and 790-862 MHz spectrum bands. The authority has however implemented a regulatory framework to ensure the migration of broadcasting services out of the700 MHz band and 800 MHz band with the publication of the regulations that set out the Frequency Channeling Plan for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).
CRAN stated that it is in the process of finalising the withdrawal of spectrum use licenses awarded for broadcasting services after the migration of broadcasting transmitters by NBC and One Africa Television to new spectrum allocated to broadcasting services.