The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has proposed the removal of tax on some electronic devices to accelerate the adoption of digital services in the country, The Brief reported. CRAN CEO Emilia Nghikembua said the regulator is working on a study for the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) reviewing taxes on some devices, with the aim to ‘flood the market with these affordable devices’.
Nghikembua stressed, however, that reducing handset prices is just one factor in improving internet access, noting some regions such as Kunene, Otjozondjupa, Kavango West and Omaheke were ‘outliers’ with connectivity rates as low as 49%. To address this issue the regulator has awarded additional spectrum to operators, while new 4G/5G licences awarded this month include specific rollout obligations to boost coverage in underserved areas. ‘We all know operators are profit driven entities, they need to be viable and sustainable and for some of the areas it’s so remote that they just do not want to go there,’ she explained.