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Namibia to auction 5G spectrum

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has announced plans to auction the 3.5GHz spectrum band for the implementation of 5G networks.

The regulator's decision aligns with the spectrum management regulatory framework and roadmap outlined in the 2022-2024 spectrum assignment strategy.

To fulfil its potential 5G needs, much higher frequencies above 3.5GHz are needed.

"We are pleased to inform stakeholders of our intention to release spectrum for the implementation of IMT-2020 services on 1 October 2023, through an auction process,” CRAN said.

The regulator said the move to auction the spectrum comes in response to the significant interest shown by multiple parties in utilising this particular frequency band.

“To ensure transparency and gather feedback from stakeholders, CRAN will be releasing the bid document on 1 August 2023, allowing interested parties to provide their comments.

This step demonstrates CRAN's commitment to an inclusive and participatory process. With the release of the 3.5GHz spectrum, Namibia is taking a significant stride towards advancing its telecommunications infrastructure and enabling the deployment of high-speed and reliable 5G networks," CRAN stated.

The regulator said the auction process and subsequent allocation of spectrum will play a crucial role in facilitating the growth of innovative services and technologies across the country.

Additionally, CRAN outlined that further details regarding the auction process, including timelines, will be provided in due course.

Industry participants, stakeholders, and interested parties are advised to monitor CRAN's official channels for updates and to prepare for the forthcoming opportunities in the 5G landscape.

This comes as last year, Cabinet approved the deployment of the fifth generation (5G) technology in Namibia after Cabinet in 2020 tasked the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism to conduct a strategic environmental assessment of the introduction of 5G technology in the country. 

The government had requested CRAN through the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, to accelerate the development of a 5G strategy for Namibia, which was submitted to Cabinet for consideration. 

The development means Namibia could soon become one of the countries in the region to have a 5G network after Zambia recently became the latest African market to get 5G services.

Safaricom launched 5G services in Kenya and Vodacom in Tanzania, Telkom in South Africa, MTN in Nigeria, while Orange has switched on 5G services in Botswana. 

Namibia’s biggest mobile operator, Mobile Telecommunications (MTC) Limited, in the past, has highlighted its readiness to deploy 5G services, having already upgraded its network infrastructure to ensure that its network is ready to deploy 5G technology in preparation for the future lifting of the country’s existing moratorium.

The listed telco had previously appealed to the government to lift the moratorium placed on 5G technology in the country, citing the technology as a key enabler towards the fourth industrial revolution.

Namibia had placed the moratorium due to conspiracy theories linking 5G networks – which is the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies supporting cellular data networks – to Coronavirus.

The fifth generation technology is the next generation of mobile internet connection and offers faster download rates.








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Last modified on Tuesday, 30 May 2023 19:30

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