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Three companies eye mobile sector
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24 November 2016
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Business 25 novemberCompetition is set to heat up in the country’s mobile telecommunications sector, as two companies, TelePassport and Integrated Communications Systems,  vie to launch mobile virtual networks (MVN), riding on TN Mobile’s network, it has emerged.
An MVN is a system in which a wireless communications provider that does not own a network enters into an agreement with a licenced mobile operator to obtain bulk access to its network services at wholesale rates and re-sales them under its own brand.
The two companies looking at venturing into the lucrative mobile space, have already been licensed by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), with a third one still to be licensed.
“CRAN licenses virtual operators under the category Class Electronic Communications (ECS) telecommunications service licence as contained in the service licence category regulations. Licencees awarded with Class ECS telecommunications service licences do not own, operate or maintain their own network infrastructure, but lease access to network infrastructure via infrastructure sharing agreements from existing licencees. To date CRAN has awarded two Class ECS telecommunications service to TelePassport and Integrated Communications Systems,” CRAN Chief Executive Officer, Festus Mbandeka said.
Although exact details of the talks remain sketchy, the two licenced companies are expected to soon conclude talks with the State-owned Telecoms company, with a third one still in initial negotiations.
The development according to insiders will provide a boost to TN Mobile’s fortunes through increased subscribers and revenue, as the company continues to struggle to attract more numbers in a market dominated by Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), majority owned by government through the Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings (NPTH). MTC currently has two million active users, while TN Mobile is sitting on 150,000 subscribers.
Armando Perny, Chief Mobile Officer of TN Mobile, a unit of Telecom Namibia, confirmed that the company was engaged in talks over the planned launch of MVNs, but was tightlipped on details.
“Telecom Namibia Mobile continues with its development of a layer for MVNO services in Namibia, and commercial and technical discussions are at an advanced stage,” Perny said.
This comes as it emerged this week that TN Mobile’s discussions with Paratus Telecom to launch a MVN were no longer on the table, with the discussions now centered on infrastructure sharing. The Windhoek Observer reported in April that Paratus Telecom was engaged in talks with TN Mobile over the launch of a mobile virtual network. The proposed deal, a first for Namibia in terms of a concept that was initially launched in 1999 in the United Kingdom by Virgin Mobile UK, and which has also been implemented in South Africa with Cell C, would have seen Paratus piggybacking on Telecom Namibia’s infrastructure for the service.
“The MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) discussions with Paratus Telecom have evolved to other type of discussions. They introduced a network that does not require a full MVNO layer to realize their business operations. Our discussions will continue in the space of sharing some parts of our respective networks and network infrastructures,” the Chief Mobile Officer of TN Mobile said.
“Telecom Namibia and Paratus Telecom continue to engage on other areas of business relationships that benefits both our operations and respective customers.”
Paratus, which already offers voice services restricted to fixed line, launched a 4G network in April, which mainly covers parts of Windhoek.
At the time, the company announced plans to invest N$200 million over two years to expand the new service. The first phase, which cost just over N$60 million, covers the Khomas region, Windhoek, Rehoboth and Okahandja.
Paratus secured funds from the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) to enable the implementation of the network. Efforts to get a comment from Paratus this week were unsuccessful, as the company declined to comment, saying it will issue a media statement on the inquiries made by this newspaper.
“Our marketing team will prepare press releases and forward them to relevant media partners. We are not following instructions to give information through deadlines from your side,” Paratus Public Relations Officer, Sunette Burden said.Competition is set to heat up in the country’s mobile telecommunications sector, as two companies, TelePassport and Integrated Communications Systems,  vie to launch mobile virtual networks (MVN), riding on TN Mobile’s network, it has emerged.
An MVN is a system in which a wireless communications provider that does not own a network enters into an agreement with a licenced mobile operator to obtain bulk access to its network services at wholesale rates and re-sales them under its own brand.
The two companies looking at venturing into the lucrative mobile space, have already been licensed by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), with a third one still to be licensed.
“CRAN licenses virtual operators under the category Class Electronic Communications (ECS) telecommunications service licence as contained in the service licence category regulations. Licencees awarded with Class ECS telecommunications service licences do not own, operate or maintain their own network infrastructure, but lease access to network infrastructure via infrastructure sharing agreements from existing licencees. To date CRAN has awarded two Class ECS telecommunications service to TelePassport and Integrated Communications Systems,” CRAN Chief Executive Officer, Festus Mbandeka said.
Although exact details of the talks remain sketchy, the two licenced companies are expected to soon conclude talks with the State-owned Telecoms company, with a third one still in initial negotiations.
The development according to insiders will provide a boost to TN Mobile’s fortunes through increased subscribers and revenue, as the company continues to struggle to attract more numbers in a market dominated by Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), majority owned by government through the Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings (NPTH). MTC currently has two million active users, while TN Mobile is sitting on 150,000 subscribers.
Armando Perny, Chief Mobile Officer of TN Mobile, a unit of Telecom Namibia, confirmed that the company was engaged in talks over the planned launch of MVNs, but was tightlipped on details.
“Telecom Namibia Mobile continues with its development of a layer for MVNO services in Namibia, and commercial and technical discussions are at an advanced stage,” Perny said.
This comes as it emerged this week that TN Mobile’s discussions with Paratus Telecom to launch a MVN were no longer on the table, with the discussions now centered on infrastructure sharing. The Windhoek Observer reported in April that Paratus Telecom was engaged in talks with TN Mobile over the launch of a mobile virtual network. The proposed deal, a first for Namibia in terms of a concept that was initially launched in 1999 in the United Kingdom by Virgin Mobile UK, and which has also been implemented in South Africa with Cell C, would have seen Paratus piggybacking on Telecom Namibia’s infrastructure for the service.
“The MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) discussions with Paratus Telecom have evolved to other type of discussions. They introduced a network that does not require a full MVNO layer to realize their business operations. Our discussions will continue in the space of sharing some parts of our respective networks and network infrastructures,” the Chief Mobile Officer of TN Mobile said.
“Telecom Namibia and Paratus Telecom continue to engage on other areas of business relationships that benefits both our operations and respective customers.”
Paratus, which already offers voice services restricted to fixed line, launched a 4G network in April, which mainly covers parts of Windhoek.
At the time, the company announced plans to invest N$200 million over two years to expand the new service. The first phase, which cost just over N$60 million, covers the Khomas region, Windhoek, Rehoboth and Okahandja.
Paratus secured funds from the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) to enable the implementation of the network. Efforts to get a comment from Paratus this week were unsuccessful, as the company declined to comment, saying it will issue a media statement on the inquiries made by this newspaper.
“Our marketing team will prepare press releases and forward them to relevant media partners. We are not following instructions to give information through deadlines from your side,” Paratus Public Relations Officer, Sunette Burden said.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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