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Communications Regulatory Authority celebrates decade of allocating spectrum

Communications Regulatory Authority celebrates decade of allocating spectrum

In the 10 years of its existence, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has been instrumental in the issuance of 58 Telecommunications Service Licenses, 14 Community Broadcasting Service Licences, 1 Signal Distributor and 20 Commercial Broadcasting Service Licences.

CRAN CEO, Emilia Nghikembua, said this in a statement celebrating 10 years of the Authority which first opened its doors on 18 May 2011.

In 2011, CRAN opened its doors with only 5 employees and now has a workforce of 63. Since inception, CRAN promoted 20 employees to various roles, employed 8 interns on a permanent basis and boasts a mere 2% staff turnover.

“CRAN established a firm regulatory framework for the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) switch-over process and formulated a comprehensive DTT Frequency-Channeling Plan, which other SADC regulators used as a benchmark. And most recently, CRAN established the regulatory framework for Digital Sound Broadcasting (DSB) paving the way forward for radio broadcasting to embrace a digital world,” said Nghikembua.

CRAN reached a milestone when it ensured that 120% mobile penetration rate in the country was reached. This was achieved because CRAN made sure to establish regulatory frameworks that created an environment that promotes fair competition as can be seen by the termination rates in Namibia that decreased from 1.06c to 0.10c for mobile and fixed operators alike between January 2009 and October 2016.

In accordance with the Communications Act (No. 8 of 2009), a streamlined-complaints handling system was also implemented to further ensure fair competition and consumer protection in the telecommunications sector.

In addition, CRAN has developed an extensive database allowing it to collect data from all licensees through a live portal. This information was expanded to build a database for determining the access gap in Namibia by mapping all the information. In 2017 Namibia won the ITU award for improvement in data collection.

Furthermore, CRAN facilitated the extension and digitisation of ICT infrastructure, and the introduction of the 4th generation (LTE) mobile technology in the country. And with CRAN
finalising the regulatory framework on numbering plan and number portability for Namibia, once implemented, consumers will soon be able to move with their numbers from one network to another with ease.

”Thank you to everyone who has walked with us so far. We appreciate your support and will continue to work towards achieving our vision – access, quality, and affordability for all,” added Nghikembua.

CRAN CEO, Emilia Nghikembua.


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys