MTC would welcome second cellco

19 May 2006

Namibia’s only cellco Mobile Telecommunications (MTC) has welcomed government moves to introduce a second mobile operator in the country, saying that there is space for two providers and that consumers need a choice of services. The Government recently gave the green light to the Namibia Competition Commission to issue a licence to a second provider of cellular services. Chairman of the commission, David Imbili, said he would give out further information on the second operator concession in due course. The plan to introduce competition to the sector is intended to lower the costs of doing business in Namibia through cheaper telecoms tariffs.

MTC, controlled by government holding company Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings (NPTH), held an official mobile monopoly from 1995 to 2001, whereupon the regulator ended its exclusivity. However, it remains the sole provider of wireless services in the country, due to a long delay in the licensing of a competitor.

Elsewhere, MTC has received a number of complaints from the public in Namibia, expressing concerns over its ‘ugly’ GSM base stations, which are designed as fake palm trees.