The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has hosted its second public hearing on its proposed infrastructure sharing regulations, and noted that the hearing was the final opportunity for stakeholders from the telecoms industry, local authorities, utilities and other concerned parties to make submissions and provide further input on the content of the draft regulations. ‘The Communications Act requires telecommunications and broadcasting service licensees and utilities to share infrastructure in order to promote competition. All carriers or holders of service/technology neutral licences and/or utilities must therefore share infrastructure with other licensees or allow the latter to install and or utilise telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructure in line with the provisions of the Communications Act and regulations as published by CRAN,’ declared Festus Mbandeka, CEO of CRAN, quoted by the Namibia Economist.
The Communications Act stipulates that conditions and charges regarding infrastructure sharing must be reasonable, non-discriminatory and fairly apportioned among licensees and utilities. ‘CRAN, however, [currently] has no jurisdiction over the strategic business decisions of licensees,’ said Mbandeka, adding that the regulations are aimed at ensuring ‘that business decisions by licensees should at all times be lawful to safeguard our environment and to ensure fair competition, for all the players and protection of the industry and consumers alike’.