Namibia calls for private sector telecoms boost

Namibia calls for private sector telecoms boost

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia’s (CRAN) CEO Emilia Nghikembua called for more private sector investments to boost the country’s telecoms sector, pointing out several regions are still underserved, reported CommsUpdate.

The regulator detailed the country’s 4G population coverage stood at 85% in 2021, Nghikembua said private sector investment is much needed to fill the rest, particularly in the following regions: Oshikoto, Kavango West, Zambezi, Omaheke, Otjozondjupa and Hardap.

Only half of Namibia’s 14 regions are covered with 4G connectivity. Kunene, Kavango West and Omaheke regions report less than 50% coverage. 

Another challenge the regulator highlighted is the lack of digital skills and high prices for data and handsets. This is evident in that only 66% of 2.9 million mobile subscriptions tapped into mobile data services, although this is u from 61% in 2016.

To ramp up connectivity uptake, CRAN plans to launch measures that promote technological innovation and service upgrades, with the aim to make connectivity more affordable. Although the regulator did not state further detail.

Namibia preparing for its 5G auction in March 2023 which will be accompanied by a consumer awareness campaign to address misconceptions about 5G. European operators reported vandalism to 5G towers and assets due to false information spread about the technology, such as how 5G spectrum can carry the Covid-19 virus.

 

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