Second mobile operator launched in capital

20 Mar 2007

Cell One launched commercial GSM mobile services in Windhoek on Friday, breaking the monopoly of incumbent GSM provider Mobile Telecommunications. Its network currently covers the capital only, but it plans to expand nationwide in phases by the end of 2007. Cell One’s launch included the opening of its own branded retail outlets, and it is aiming to attract customers by offering simple flat-rate pre-paid tariffs with no start-up fees. A company official announced that domestic calls to fixed line, GSM or CDMA numbers will be charged at the same rate. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database notes that Cell One is owned by Powercom, a joint venture between domestic electricity utility NamPower and Norwegian telco Telenor, and won its licence in May 2006. Mobile Telecommunications, owned by the government (66%) and Portugal Telecom (34%), had 555,000 GSM subscribers at the end of September 2006, in a population of over two million. Fixed line operator Telecom Namibia offers a third wireless alternative with its limited mobility CDMA service, Switch, launched in November 2006.

Namibia, Powercom (Namibia)