Namibia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Namibia’s telecom regulator approves government ownership of MTC

Although Namibia was slow to introduce competition in the mobile market, with a second operator not licensed until 2006, the market has since seen penetration rates rise to well above the regional average. A new player, Paratus Telecom, has launched LTE services to compete with those offered by MTC, while in late 2017 the regulator licensed Demshi Investment and MTN to provide mobile voice and data services and MVNOs. MTC in late 2017 launched a major infrastructure program aimed at delivering national population coverage by October 2019.

Fixed-line services are still a monopoly of Telecom Namibia, but as a member of the WTO the government plans to open the telecom sector to full competition. As part of this process the government plans to sell a 49% interest in MTC, with 29% to be floated on the Namibian Stock Exchange.

Although Namibia’s internet and broadband sector is reasonably competitive, with a small number of active ISPs, its development was for long held back by high prices for international bandwidth caused by the lack of a direct connection to international submarine fibre optic cables. This changed in 2011 when the WACS cable landed in the country. International cable services were launched in May 2012. In parallel, Namibia is diversifying its transit access routes via adjacent countries.

The country’s growth in broadband services has been helped by developments with 3G and LTE network rollouts, as well as by investments in national fibre backbone infrastructure. Several WiMAX and other wireless broadband services offer additional access options and are standing by to bring additional competition to the voice market as well, once internet telephony is deregulated.

Key developments:

  • Telecom Namibia deploys more WiMAX base stations; MTC triples mobile data speeds with launch of LTE-A technology;
  • MTC launched N$1 billion network expansion project, dubbed 081Every1;
  • Telecom regulator holds workshop on implementing 5G in Namibia;
  • Nimbus Infrastructure completes the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) cable;
  • Paratus Telecom transitions from WiMAX to LTE, plans N$150 million infrastructure investment through to 2021;
  • MTC launches fibre broadband service;
  • Exclusive Gateway Networks proposes building a Single Telecoms Gateway to manage all voice and data traffic;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to June 2017, operator data for fiscal 2017, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Telecom Namibia; Mobile Telecommunications (MTC); Cell One (Leo, Orascom); Powercom; MTN Business Namibia; MWEB Namibia; Africa Online Namibia; Internet Technologies Namibia; iWay.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market analysis
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Regulatory authorities
      • 5.1.1 Ministerial Communications Division
      • 5.1.2 CRAN (formerly NCC)
    • 5.2 Communications Act 2009
    • 5.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 5.4 International gateways
    • 5.5 Interconnection
    • 5.6 Number Portability (NP)
    • 5.7 Infrastructure sharing
    • 5.8 Universal Service
  • 6. Fixed-network operator
    • 6.1 Telecom Namibia (TN)
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 National fibre backbone networks
    • 7.2 Next-Generation Network (NGN)
    • 7.3 International infrastructure
      • 7.3.1 Submarine cables
  • 8. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
    • 8.2 Broadband statistics
    • 8.3 Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • 8.3.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 8.3.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • 8.3.3 Other fixed-line broadband services
  • 9. Digital economy
    • 9.1 E-commerce
    • 9.2 E-government
  • 10. Mobile market
    • 10.1 Market analysis
    • 10.2 Mobile statistics
    • 10.3 Mobile data
      • 10.4 Mobile broadband
      • 10.5 Regulatory issues
        • 10.5.1 Licensing
        • 10.5.2 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • 10.6 Mobile infrastructure
        • 10.6.1 5G
        • 10.6.2 4G (LTE)
        • 10.6.3 3G
      • 10.7 Other infrastructure developments
        • 10.7.1 GPRS/EDGE
        • 10.7.2 HSPA
        • 10.7.3 Satellite mobile
      • 10.8 Major mobile operators
        • 10.8.1 MTC
        • 10.8.2 Telecom Namibia Mobile (Cell One, Leo)
        • 10.8.3 Paratus Telecom
        • 10.8.4 MVNOs
      • 10.9 Mobile content and applications
        • 10.9.1 Mobile banking
    • 11. Related reports
    • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – Namibia – 2018 (e)
    • Table 2 – Telecom sector revenue ($) – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 3 – Telecom sector revenue (N$) – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 4 – Telecom Namibia financial data – 2007 - 2017
    • Table 5 – Telecom Namibia connections by type – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 6 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2009
    • Table 7 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 8 – Telecom Namibia switching capacity – 2009 – 2015; 2017
    • Table 9 – International internet bandwidth – 2003 - 2016
    • Table 10 – Internet bandwidth per subscriber – 2003 - 2016
    • Table 11 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1996 - 2009
    • Table 12 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 13 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration – 2005 - 2018
    • Table 14 – DSL broadband subscribers – 2012 - 2018
    • Table 15 – DSL connections by data rate – 2013 - 2016
    • Table 16 – Telecom Namibia fixed broadband subscribers – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 17 – Fixed-wireless broadband subscribers – 2013 - 2016
    • Table 18 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995 - 2009
    • Table 19 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 20 – Mobile prepaid and contract subscribers – 2013 - 2016
    • Table 21 – SMS messages sent – 2009 - 2018
    • Table 22 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 - 2018
    • Table 23 – Dedicated and standard mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2016
    • Table 24 – Historic - Mobile Termination Rates – 2008 - 2013
    • Table 25 – MTC mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2016
    • Table 26 – MTC mobile financial data – 2005 - 2017
    • Table 27 – Telecom Namibia mobile subscribers – 2015 - 2017
    • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2018
    • Chart 2 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2005 – 2018
    • Chart 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 - 2018
    • Chart 4 – MTC mobile financial data – 2005 – 2017
    • Exhibit 1 – Map of Namibia

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