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Communications regulator temporarily suspends the awarding of new telecommunication, broadcasting licenses

Communications regulator temporarily suspends the awarding of new telecommunication, broadcasting licenses

Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) will temporarily suspend the awarding of new telecommunication and broadcasting licenses from 1 October 2022, until 30 September 2023, an executive announced last week on Friday.

CRAN will not accept or consider new applications during the period, however, it will consider applications for amendment, withdrawal, transfer, and cession of existing telecommunications or broadcasting service licenses when practically possible, said CRAN CEO, Emilia Nghikembua in a statement.

According to Nghikembua, the regulator conducted preliminary research by studying the preceding Sector Review Reports and international best practices. Through this investigation, it was determined that the envisaged market study on the telecommunication and broadcasting markets must be based on a fixed data set, particularly the number of telecommunications and broadcasting service licenses currently in the market.

“Therefore, it is apposite that CRAN maintains a still market, in terms of market players,” she added.

Nghikembua said a market study will be conducted and CRAN will accept and consider applications for spectrum licenses from existing service licensees only, and will also accept spectrum applications for bands that are service license-exempt.

“The market study research will include public stakeholder consultations, and the final report and recommendations will be submitted to the Minister of Information and Communications Technology,” she added.

“While the temporary postponement of the award of new telecommunication and broadcasting service licenses 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 concluded.


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