CRAN calls for privatisation of MTC and Telecom Namibia to boost competition

CRAN calls for privatisation of MTC and Telecom Namibia to boost competition

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has talked up the potential benefits of privatising state-owned ICT companies.

Local outlet New Era reports that the regulator has indicated that privatisation could boost competition as well as drive innovation, to the benefit of consumers.

In its draft ICT Sector Regulatory Environment assessment for 2023, CRAN said: “Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) and Telecom Namibia (TN) would potentially compete more with each other if owned by different private sector companies, compared to the current situation, where both are controlled by the state.”

State control over ICT assets is notably high in Namibia; in its latest assessment, CRAN determined that the state had direct control over 89.4% of ICT assets in 2021, down from 92.8% in 2016. The apparent gains by the private sector over the past six years are partially due to TN’s asset values falling; its ownership share dropped from 51% to 37% during this time.

TeleGeography names Paratus as the sole notable private sector player in Namibia, accounting for around 81% of private sector assets in 2021. Between 2016 and 2021, it saw its share of the asset market rise from 4.1% to 8.6%.

Part of the issue is that overseas investment is somewhat discouraged as any licensed players must be majority local-owned (minimum 51%). CRAN suggested lowering this figure, as well as overhauling licence requirements and regulation around licensing in order to encourage private sector investment.  The regulator also called for better enforcement of infrastructure sharing, and encouraging new and smaller players into the market by changing spectrum allocation processes.

Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.