• October 24th, 2020

CRAN confirms city’s telecommunications licence

Maihapa Ndjavera

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) yesterday confirmed the issuance to the Windhoek City Council of a Class Comprehensive Telecommunications Service Licence, with additional licence conditions imposed. 
The licence is effective from 24 July. CRAN hosted a public hearing on 15 July on the application for reconsideration submitted by Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd on 22 May, in respect of CRAN’s decision to award a Class Comprehensive Telecommunications Service Licence (ECNS and ECS) to the City of Windhoek. 

The licence was awarded on 29 April in terms of Section 38 of the Communications Act (No. 8 of 2009). Chairperson of CRAN Board of Directors, Mihe Gaomab II, said the decision was taken after careful consideration of the comments raised by various stakeholders. 
Speaking at a media conference yesterday Gaomab II said: “CRAN convened the public hearing in line with Regulation 14 of the regulations regarding licensing procedures, which makes provision for CRAN to host a public consultative meeting to present the reasons for its decision to grant the licence, and to provide interested stakeholders an opportunity to comment, pose questions and receive clarity from CRAN on its decision to award a telecommunications service licence to the city, and on the application for reconsideration.”

According to the CRAN chairman the public consultative meeting was streamed live on social media platforms and was attended by a total of 82 stakeholders and received approximately 2 000 views on the various social media platforms.
Gaomab II emphasised the grounds for reconsideration, saying: “The first ground of reconsideration raised is that a wrong person lodged the application on behalf of Council, an unauthorised person made the purported application, whereas the second ground of reconsideration relates to the incompleteness of the application form submitted by the City of Windhoek. The third ground for reconsideration pertains to the Change of Licence Category, where the petitioner submitted that the public was not informed that CRAN intends to award a Class Comprehensive Telecommunications Service Licence to the applicant.” 

He added that the fourth ground of reconsideration regards the powers of the Council to apply for a telecommunications service licence, and to provide telecommunications services to the public.
The chairperson added that further hereto, CRAN shall impose additional licence conditions to address stakeholder comments to ensure fair competition and infrastructure sharing, as this will result in overall lower costs of infrastructure development by other licensees and thus translate into lower prices for the telecommunications end consumer. 
Ultimately the award of a licence to the Windhoek City Council will increase access to telecommunications and advanced information services at just, reasonable and affordable prices, he said.

Concerns raised by the public and other licensees included that the licence allows the City of Windhoek to enter the telecommunications fibre market and participate therein and that the city council will enjoy preference to land rights. Additional concerns were that Council will enjoy the dominant position in land ownership and infrastructure development, which will disadvantage other industry players. Members of the public further indicated that Section 62 of the Communications Act must be amended in order not to require notice and or consent to be provided by the city.

Staff Reporter
2020-07-30 15:55:53 | 2 months ago

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