MTC's spectrum application still pending before Cran

04 Feb 2016 20:00pm
WINDHOEK, 04 FEB (NAMPA) – The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran) is still considering Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC)'s application for additional spectrum.
“The application is still pending before Cran and is within the legal timeframe for the consideration of applications as per Cran's regulatory processes. This was communicated to MTC in December 2015,” said Katrina Sikeni, the authority’s head of communications and external relations, on Thursday.
MTC had applied for 5megahertz (MHz) of 900MHz spectrum to roll out 3G in the rural areas and 5MHz for expanding 3G in urban areas.
MTC's Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer Tim Ekandjo told members of the media on Wednesday that if the spectrum is granted, this will bring MTC's total spectrum allocation to 73MHz which will still be lower than that of Telecom Namibia and Paratus.
Telecom Namibia has 131 MHz spectrum, Paratus 80MHz, while 90MHz spectrum is not yet allocated.
Sikeni told Nampa on enquiry Thursday that the regulator received a licence application for additional spectrum from MTC on 16 April 2015.
She said several consultations were held and such application was published in the Government Gazette for public comments in October 2015 as per the provisions of the relevant legislative and regulatory provisions.
Sikeni pointed out that the regulatory processes, and the notion of impartiality dictates that Cran may not comment on applications that are pending before it until such time that the application is properly considered and a decision is made in terms of the relevant provisions of the Communications Act (No.8 of 2009).
She added that the final decision and the reasons for the decision will be published in the Government Gazette as per the legislative requirements.
Sikeni noted that all applicants and licensees are encouraged to conduct business and make sound investment decisions that are in line with the requirements of the regulatory framework within which they operate.
“CRAN is cognisant of the fact that spectrum is a scarce national resource which is essential for the role out of information and communication technology (ICT) services, therefore it is imperative that it is administered in the most efficient and responsible manner and in the best interest of all Namibians,” Sikeni said.
She pledged Cran’s continuation to independently regulate the ICT industry by creating a competitive and levelled playing field in order to increase access to telecommunications and advanced information services to all regions of Namibia in order to promote just, reasonable and affordable prices.