Namibia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Namibia’s MTC triples mobile data speeds with launch of LTE-A technology

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 now launched LTE services to compete with those offered by MTC. MTC and Telecom Namibia Mobile (formerly Cell One and Leo, now owned by Telecom Namibia) – have entered the internet and broadband market with 3G mobile broadband services in a bid to create new revenue streams. MTC introduced LTE services in May 2012 and in mid-2016 it tripled data speeds through upgrading its network with LTE-A technology.

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.

Although Namibia’s internet and broadband sector is reasonably competitive, with six ISPs active, 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:

  • MTC triples mobile data speeds with launch of LTE-A technology;
  • MNOs begin glide-path reduction in mobile roaming for Southern African markets; Regulator encourages mobile infrastructure sharing in bid to increase coverage nationally by 2030;
  • Regulator decides on leased line pricing glide path;
  • ACE submarine fibre optic cable upgraded;
  • Paratus Telecom launches LTE services.

Market penetration rates in Namibia’s telecoms sector – 2016 (e)

Penetration of telecoms services: Penetration
Fixed-line telephony 7.6%
Fixed broadband 2.3%
Mobile SIM (population) 102%

(Source: BuddeComm)

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 Value-added Tax (VAT)
    • 5.7 Number Portability (NP)
    • 5.8 Infrastructure sharing
    • 5.9 Universal Service
  • 6. Fixed-network operator
    • 6.1 Telecom Namibia
      • 6.1.1 Switch
      • 6.1.2 VSAT
      • 6.1.3 Data services
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 National fibre backbone networks
    • 7.2 Next-Generation Network (NGN)
    • 7.3 Wireless local loop (WLL)
    • 7.4 International infrastructure
      • 7.4.1 Submarine cables
  • 8. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
    • 8.2 Market analysis
    • 8.3 Broadband statistics
    • 8.4 White Space for internet access
    • 8.5 Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • 8.5.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 8.5.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • 8.5.3 Other fixed-line broadband services
  • 9. Digital economy
    • 9.1 E-commerce
    • 9.2 E-government
  • 10. Digital media
    • 10.1 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
    • 10.2 Communications: VoIP
  • 11. Mobile market
    • 11.1 Market analysis
    • 11.2 Mobile statistics
    • 11.3 Mobile data
      • 11.4 Mobile broadband
      • 11.5 Regulatory issues
        • 11.5.1 Licensing
        • 11.5.2 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • 11.6 Mobile infrastructure
        • 11.6.1 Digital networks
        • 11.6.2 Third generation (3G)
        • 11.6.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
      • 11.7 Other infrastructure developments
        • 11.7.1 GPRS/EDGE
        • 11.7.2 HSPA
        • 11.7.3 Satellite mobile
      • 11.8 Major mobile operators
        • 11.8.1 MTC
        • 11.8.2 Telecom Namibia Mobile (Cell One, Leo)
        • 11.8.3 Paratus Telecom
        • 11.8.4 Mobile handsets
      • 11.9 Mobile content and applications
        • 11.9.1 Mobile TV
        • 11.9.2 Mobile banking
    • 12. Related reports
    • Table 1 – Country statistics Namibia – 2016 (e)
    • Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2016
    • Table 4 – Internet and social media user statistics – 2016 (Jun)
    • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
    • Table 7 – International internet bandwidth – 2003 - 2015
    • Table 8 – Internet bandwidth per subscriber – 2003 - 2015
    • Table 9 – Telecom sector revenue ($) – 2007 - 2015
    • Table 10 – Telecom sector revenue (N$) – 2007 - 2015
    • Table 11 – Total telephony revenue (N$) – 2009 - 2013
    • Table 12 – Telecom Namibia financial data – 2007 - 2014
    • Table 13 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2009
    • Table 14 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 15 – Telecom Namibia switching capacity – 2009 - 2014
    • Table 16 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1996 - 2009
    • Table 17 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 18 – Fixed-line internet subscribers – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 19 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2016
    • Table 20 – DSL broadband subscribers – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 21 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995 - 2009
    • Table 22 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 23 – SMS messages sent – 2009 - 2016
    • Table 24 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 - 2017
    • Table 25 – Mobile data subscribers (regulator data) – 2009 - 2013
    • Table 26 – Dedicated mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2016
    • Table 27 – Mobile Termination Rates – 2008 - 2013
    • Table 28 – MTC mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2015
    • Table 29 – MTC mobile financial data – 2005 - 2013
    • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2017
    • Chart 2 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2005 – 2017
    • Chart 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 - 2017
    • Exhibit 1 – Map of Namibia

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