The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has awarded 5G licences to mobile network operators Telecom Namibia (TN) and Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC), and local ISP Loc8 Mobile following the regulator’s auction of 700MHz and 800MHz spectrum last week, which generated approximately NAD28.6 million (USD1.47 million).
Loc8 Mobile paid NAD5.1 million to secure Lot A (2×20MHz, 703MHz-723MHz/758MHz-778MHz, reserve price NAD4.4 million), TN won Lot B with a bid of NAD15.4 million (two blocks of 2×10MHz, 723MHz-733MHz/778MHz-788MHz and 791MHz-801MHz/832MHz-842MHz, NAD5.1 million), while TN paid NAD15.4 million for Lot C (2×20MHz, 801MHz-821MHz/842MHz-862MHz, NAD6.5 million).
The permits are valid for ten years and can be renewed for a similar period. The licensees must use the assigned frequencies to provide 4G and 5G mobile services with a downlink data speed of no less than 20Mbps and in compliance with quality of service (QoS) regulations. The rollout obligations also require them to improve 4G population coverage to 80% or higher in six regions, namely Kunene and Zambezi (Lot A), Otjozondjupa and Omaheke (Lot B), Hardap and Kavango West (Lot C).
Emilia Nghikembua, CEO of CRAN, explained in a statement that the award of the 4G/5G spectrum licences is intended to enable the rollout of emerging mobile technologies while supporting both universal access in rural areas and digital inclusion. She further stated that the regulator has approved the testing/trial of 5G services/networks for a period of three months until 31 December. MTC has already expressed its readiness to deploy 5G services.