Namibia Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Publication Date: May 2024

Report Pages: 156

Regulator suspends awarding of new telecoms and broadcasting licences

The government’s Broadband Policy aims to provide 95% population coverage by 2024, supported by the efforts of telcos including Paratus Telecom which continue to invest in their own extensive network objectives.

Mobile network coverage has increased sharply in recent years. By 2021, 3G infrastructure provided 89% population coverage while LTE infrastructure provided 79% coverage (compared to only 40% a year earlier). Despite the relatively advanced nature of the market, progress towards 5G has been slow, partly due to unsubstantiated public concerns over health implications of the technology which caused the government to order an environmental assessment of 5G in mid-2020. Nevertheless, the government has requested the regulator to speed up its 5G development strategy.

The country’s flagging economy since 2016 was exacerbated by the difficulties resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. These issues encouraged the government to pursue its plans to sell its stakes in Telecom Namibia and MTC, as well as in a number of other enterprises.

Although Namibia’s internet and broadband sector is reasonably competitive, its development was for many years held back by high prices for international bandwidth caused by the lack of a direct connection to international submarine cables. This market situation improved after operators invested in diversifying terrestrial access routes to adjacent countries. By the end of 2022 Namibia is expected to be connected by a 1,050km branch line of Google’s Equiano cable running between Portugal and South Africa.

Key developments:

  • Paratus and MTN Namibia sign national roaming agreement aimed at quickening the pace of LTE rollouts;
  • MTN Namibia engages NuRAN Wireless for the deployment of at least 150 GSM and 4G sites across the country;
  • Regulator suspends the issuing of new telecoms and broadcasting licences between October 2022 and September 2023, also intends to review the current frequency band plan;
  • Namibia to be connected to Google’s Equiano cable system; Paratus completes works on Namibian landing station;
  • New SIM card registration rules are put in place;
  • MTC completes its IPO;
  • Paratus to launch a N$123 million data centre facility in August 2022;
  • Telecom Namibia upgrades its VSAT hub to provide more reliable connectivity for users in remote areas;
  • Government calls for the regulator to speed up 5G development strategy;
  • Government launches the National Broadband Policy and Implementation Action Plan, aiming to provide a universal 2Mb/s services by 2024;
  • MTC nears completion of Phase 2 of its N$1 billion 081Every1 network expansion project;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market report for 2020, market data to end-2021, operator data for fiscal 2021, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, and 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

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