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Communications regulator revokes spectrum Licenses for UCOM Mobile Namibia

Communications regulator revokes spectrum Licenses for UCOM Mobile Namibia

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has canceled Spectrum Licenses previously granted to UCOM Mobile Namibia, formerly known as Mobile Telephone Networks Business Solutions Namibia (MTN), from November 2014 to April 2020.

In a statement on Monday, the regulator announced that UCOM Mobile had breached its license conditions by failing to pay the required spectrum fees.

Despite various attempts to address this issue, the licensee accumulated a total debt of N$19,280,754.67 in unpaid fees, CRAN added.

Legal proceedings reached a resolution when the High Court granted default judgment against UCOM Mobile Namibia on 16 November 2023.

According to CRAN, the company failed to efficiently utilize the allocated spectrum, leading to concerns about spectrum hoarding.

Emilia Nghikembua, representing CRAN, emphasized that the nonpayment of spectrum fees and spectrum hoarding constituted significant breaches of license conditions, leading to the ultimate decision of license cancellation.

Despite extensive consultations, no resolution was reached with UCOM Mobile Namibia to rectify these compliance issues, she added.

To minimize the impact on consumers and the company, CRAN has granted UCOM Mobile Namibia a six-month grace period until June 2024. During this time, the company is expected to facilitate the migration of approximately 1,000 customers and conduct an orderly wind-up of its operations. Following this period, all services provided by UCOM Mobile Namibia will be terminated.

Nghikembua reaffirmed CRAN’s commitment to maintaining a viable telecommunications market that benefits consumers through the promotion of healthy competition. Regulatory compliance with license conditions and operating parameters is seen as crucial for consumer protection.


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