Communications regulator places 15-month ban on issuance of new spectrum and broadcasting licences
The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRAN) has placed a 15-month moratorium on the issuance of new spectrum and broadcasting licences in the country.
The increase in the number of broadcasting service licencees has thus resulted in the scarcity of analogue FM spectrum in most geographical areas in Namibia, particularly in urban areas, said Festus Mbandeka, Chief Executive of CRAN
Mbandeka said that the imposition of a moratorium will affect all persons and entities wishing to apply for new radio broadcasting licences.
“Only applications received until on or 22 January 2019 will be considered for broadcasting licences, therefore no applications received after this date will be considered,” he added.
Meanwhile, during the period the authority intends to conduct a review of the Frequency Channeling Plan for analogue FM radio broadcasting.
The review will require a detailed spectrum analysis, coverage predictions, cross-border coordination and analysis of the output power of various transmitters to ensure maximum use of the available radio frequency spectrum, CRAN added.
It was therefore not possible to do the review while also awarding new spectrum licences for broadcast services or to amend existing spectrum licences, Mbandeka said.
According to CRAN the country is presently served by 33 broadcasters (5 television and 28 radio stations) as well as the public broadcaster, NBC.
Mbandeka said these entities will continue providing broadcasting services as usual.
According to him CRAN received two applications for radio broadcasting services prior to 22 January, which will be considered as per CRAN’s regulatory process.