MTN Namibia plans to introduce a mobile service in June, bringing competition to a sector currently dominated by MTC.
The announcement by MTN comes as sector regulator, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), has granted the company the 084 number range.
MTN’s mobile service launch will be among other products that the company will be introducing onto the Namibian market.
“We are not going to follow the traditional approach. Initially, we will focus on different segments of the market,” Managing Director of MTN Namibia and Botswana, Elia Tsouros, said in an interview this week.
The company initially plans offering mobile services to SMEs and corporates.
“That is our strategy. We won’t be taking on MTC directly. We are going to do things differently by bundling different services,” he said.
Tsouros said given the size of the MTN Group, the company will be provided with expertise from its operations in 24 countries to set up a mobile service.
“The ability that we have is that we can turn to the group’s 24 operations in other parts of the world. If it has been done before in the group, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel, we can bring in people from different countries to help us,” he said.
Tsouros added the company will continue to rely on Telecom Namibia’s infrastructure for its operations.
“Our relationship with Telecom Namibia remains. You cannot ignore Telecom; they have the largest infrastructure in the country. We need to work with Telecom to deliver the mobile service,” he said.
The MTN executive bemoaned the absence of number portability in Namibia, which means that customers cannot migrate to other networks while retaining their numbers.
“If there was number portability, this was not going to be an issue. CRAN is working on number portability. But it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.”
In August last year, CRAN said it still has plans to liberalise telephone numbers through Mobile Number Portability service and steer telecom carriers to focus on service delivery.
MTN has already held workshops in Windhoek in conjunction with the City of Windhoek to create awareness for its SME products, which are called Nawa.
Tsouros said acquisition of a 30 percent stake in the business by Profile Investments had helped MTN win three major contracts in the public sector, which focus on security and allowed for the renewal of its licence as per Government requirements.
He said as part of the MTN group’s rebranding, the Namibian operations will also be included.
“This is a massive project and we are part of it for the first time (MTN Namibia). At the end of this month, we are going to launch our brand awareness programme.”