South African-backed Bidvest Namibia Information Technology is the latest company to apply to the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) for a technology- and service-neutral (Comprehensive) telecoms network operating licence in Namibia. Pierre Joubert, general manager of Bidvest Namibia, said in the services/trading/distribution firm’s application that its medium-to-long-term strategy is to become a ‘fully-fledged’ internet service provider (ISP) and to expand its existing wide area network (WAN) from ‘15 major locations’ to the entire country. Bidvest, a listed Nambian company, currently provides hosted application services from two data centres, which require its clients to have connectivity from their premises, a report in The Namibian newspaper says. Bidvest has also applied for a Spectrum Use Licence (required alongside Comprehensive licences to utilise wireless frequencies) within the bands 2.4GHz-2.5GHz, 5.725GHz-5.875GHz and 24.00GHz-24.25GHz. Bidvest indicated that it would be utilising Wi-Fi and a ‘wireless point-to-point network for last mile connectivity to our data centres or to local points of presence.’ The CRAN has also recently received an application for Comprehensive telecoms and Spectrum Use Licences from Schoemans Technologies, which according to its company website is a newly formed joint venture operating under the umbrella of Namibian IT group Schoemans Office Systems, offering ICT and utilities services.
TeleGeography notes that, in addition to incumbent Telecom Namibia, licensees which have so far been awarded technology- and service-neutral telecoms operating concessions include: cellco MTC, ISPs AfricaOnline (via its MWireless unit) and Wireless Technologies Namibia (WTN, part of Internet Technologies Namibia [ITN]), cellco Powercom (Leo, a subsidiary of Telecom Namibia), YFI Technologies, Wilfred Robert Poser, Virtual Technology Services (granted November 2012); Salt Essential IT (December 2012); and Converged Telecommunications Solutions (May 2013). Alongside its telecoms market revamp, the CRAN has also been handing out new broadcasting licences.