Namibia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
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.
Telecom Namibia deploys more WiMAX base stations; MTC triples mobile data speeds with launch of LTE-A technology;