The sale of non-type approved telecommunications equipment such as network boosters and decoders are on the increase in the Namibian market. This is according to the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) that conducted a seize and confiscation operation, with assistance from Namibian Police for these unapproved equipment at business retailers mainly in Windhoek as identified in preliminary investigations.
From August 2021 to June 2022, CRAN conducted investigations on various telecommunications matters, to ensure compliance and determine any network interferences.
In a statement released this week, CRAN confirmed that after the finalisation of investigations, findings highlighted network interference due to the unapproved telecommunications equipment.
“The search and seize operation at these business premises were led by CRAN inspectors responsible for equipment certification, accompanied by police to maintain law and order, and to ensure safety for all persons and business property during the operation. In total, 89 non-type approved telecommunications equipment found at the business premises were confiscated, and the owners or managers were given receipts for removal of evidence from the business premises in terms of Section 80 (9), 102 and 126 of the Communications Act (No. 8 of 2009),” CRAN spokesperson Hilya Mhani said.
All the confiscated equipment will be stored at CRAN’s premises until owners can produce type approval certificates for the devices.
To this end, CRAN has informed all importers, vendors, patent owners and equipment manufacturers of telecommunication equipment, that it is their responsibility to obtain a type approval certificate before their goods enter Namibia’s borders.
The authority also warned the public that anyone found in contravention of the provisions of the Communications Act is guilty of a punishable offence and will be prosecuted in accordance with the relevant sections of the Act.
Section 80 (9) of the Communications Act, outlines that the authority may seize any telecommunications equipment that does not comply with any standard prescribed under this section of the Act or that belongs to a category of telecommunications equipment for which type approval is required as contemplated in subsection (3) and that has not been approved as contemplated in that subsection.
“The purpose of type approval is to ensure that telecommunications equipment used in Namibia complies with international standards, and that sub-standard equipment which may present health and safety hazards to consumers, and that are incompatible with local networks are not operated in the country. Further, the type approval regulations ensures that the general operating frequency of telecommunications equipment and in particular the radio apparatus are in conformance with the national frequency band plan of Namibia to avoid interference with essential services,” CRAN stated.