MTC Refuses Infrastructure Sharing, Despite Report on High Data Costs in Namibia

Namibia’s MTC declines infrastructure sharing despite concerns over high data costs, according to regulator’s report.

Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) has announced that it will not share its infrastructure with other players in the industry, despite a report from Namibia’s regulator, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran), highlighting infrastructure sharing as a factor contributing to high data costs for consumers in the country.

According to Cran, Namibia’s data costs rank as the third highest in southern Africa, largely due to the reluctance of major telecommunications companies to share infrastructure. The regulator’s report also expressed concern about the barriers faced by new entrants trying to enter the market, citing the unwillingness of dominant licensees to engage in active sharing.

MTC, with 2.5 million customers, and Telecom Namibia Limited, with 410,541 customers, are the two dominant players in Namibia’s telecommunications sector. In response to the criticism, MTC spokesperson Tim Ekandjo stated that the company has consistently been clear about its stance on infrastructure sharing.

Ekandjo explained that MTC is mindful of network congestion and the potential negative impact on connectivity quality and customer experience if burdened with sharing infrastructure with another operator. He acknowledged the importance of smart collaborations but emphasized that MTC has previously fulfilled its obligation to share infrastructure by approaching all operators for co-building opportunities whenever new sites were rolled out.

While MTC recognizes the potential benefits of infrastructure sharing, the company believes that additional investment in its network would be necessary to accommodate such collaborations. Thus, MTC remains firm in its decision not to share infrastructure at this time.

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