CRAN cancels UCOM Mobile spectrum licences over unpaid fees

WINDHOEK: The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has cancelled the spectrum licences granted to UCOM Mobile Namibia, previously known as Mobile Telephone Networks Business Solutions Namibia (MTN).

CRAN in a statement on Monday said the High Court granted a default judgement against UCOM Mobile Namibia on 16 November 2023 as a result of its inability to settle over N.dollars 19.3 million in licence fees following fruitless mediation efforts.

CRAN Chief Executive Officer Emilia Nghikembua in the statement said UCOM Mobile Namibia also failed to efficiently use the allotted spectrum, resulting in spectrum hoarding.

She said non-payment of spectrum fees and hoarding of spectrum constitute a material infringement of the licence requirements and are grounds for licence revocation.

‘Notably, CRAN held extensive conversations with UCOM Mobile Namibia over a period of time to find a durable solution to the compliance issues, but such interactions did not yield any remedial outcomes,’ she added.

onsidering the impact of this decision on consumers and UCOM Mobile Namibia, CRAN has granted UCOM a period of six months until June 2024 to facilitate the migration of their approximately 1 000 customers and to conduct an orderly wind-up of their operations. After the stipulated period, all services will be terminated.

‘The authority remains committed to ensure a viable telecommunications market that generates consumer benefits, through the promotion of competition. This commitment will, amongst others, be executed through ensuring regulatory compliance to license conditions and operating parameters, which is the backbone of consumer protection,’ Nghikembua concluded.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency