The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) announced on Friday that the award of new telecoms and broadcasting licences will be suspended from 1 October 2022 until 30 September 2023. The sector regulator said the decision will allow it to conduct research to determine the current market level of competition, market saturation, and whether there are any existing barriers to entry into the sector.
Although CRAN will not accept new applications during the period, it will consider applications for amendment, withdrawal, transfer, and cession of existing telecoms or broadcasting service licences when practically possible, CRAN CEO Emilia Nghikembua said in a statement. In addition, the regulator will accept and consider applications for spectrum licences from existing service licensees only, and will also accept spectrum applications for bands that are service licence-exempt.
Based on previous sector review reports and international best practice, Nghikembua explained, the regulator’s planned market study needs to be based on a fixed data set, particularly the number of telecoms and broadcasting service licensees operating in the market. ‘While the temporary postponement of the award of new Telecommunication and Broadcasting Service Licences 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 said.