The MTC has labelled as ‘anti-competitive’ the issuing of a telecommunications service licence by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). According to MTC’s Tim Ekandjo, this decision by CRAN is both anti-competitive and against the Communications Act and the Competitions Act.
According to MTC, the City of Windhoek applied for a Network Facilities Service Licence, which was published on 22 February 2019. In its application, the City of Windhoek stated that it wanted to commercialise its fibre optics.
A Network Facilities licence enables the holder to construct, maintain, own and make available one or more network elements, infrastructure or other facilities that facilitate the provision of telecommunication services, broadcasting services, electronic communications services or application services, including content services. In terms of this licence, the City of Windhoek would have had to lease its fibre optics to other licenced operators for the provision of telecommunication services.
Said Ekandjo: “Surprisingly and without following a rule making process (in terms of which the public and licensees would have had an opportunity to provide comments), on 29 April 2020, CRAN awarded a Class Comprehensive Telecommunications Service License (ECNS and ECS), to the City of Windhoek. The licence awarded allows for the provision of telecommunication services and the operation and deployment of a network.”
Ekandjo explained that for the provision of telecommunication services in Windhoek, a licensee needs to obtain approval from the City of Windhoek to set up telecommunication equipment on their land either by digging for fibre or by putting up towers. It goes without saying that when such authorisation is requested from a competitor, they have the ability to slow down approvals for their own benefit.
“You cannot apply for one licence and get something that you have not applied for. Secondly, if due process was followed, we would have had the opportunity to object and or give comments but this process was not followed by CRAN, which we find very strange. Not having been given the opportunity to comment before the licence was awarded, which flouts the elements of fair administrative action by CRAN, MTC will consider its position in law,” he charged.
2020-05-13 09:58:49 | 4 months ago