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4G/5G

Namibia to auction 5G spectrum

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The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has announced it will hold an auction later this year for spectrum in the 3500MHz band to be used for the rollout of 5G in the country.

"CRAN is taking cognisance of the spectrum management regulatory framework and roadmap for the release of spectrum bands for the implementation of 5G networks as contained in the spectrum assignment strategy 2022-2024," the regulator said in a statement.

CRAN invited stakeholders to the spectrum auction on October 1, 2023, to implement IMT-2020 services in the 3500MHz band.

The bid document will be released on August 1, 2023, for comments with timelines for the rest of the auction process, the regulator added.

In February 2023, the regulator auctioned off 4G and 5G-capable spectrum in the 700MHz and 800MHz bands.

CRAN said those spectrum bands would be utilized by telecommunications service licensees to provide 4G and/or 5G mobile services in Namibia and to fulfil specific rollout obligations.

Spectrum releases across Africa

Namibia is following other African countries which have auctioned telecoms spectrum recently.

Last week, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) announced that it has effectively opened the lower 6GHz spectrum band for Wi-Fi services.

CRAN said Namibia's 5G spectrum auction will take place on October 1, 2023, and the bid document will be released on August 1, 2023.   (Source: Image by starline on Freepik)
CRAN said Namibia's 5G spectrum auction will take place on October 1, 2023, and the bid document will be released on August 1, 2023.
(Source: Image by starline on Freepik)

At the beginning of 2023, Airtel Nigeria purchased 100MHz of spectrum in the 3500MHz band and 2x5MHz of 2600MHz spectrum from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Airtel was also the sole bidder for 5G spectrum in the West African country in a second round of licensing for the next-generation technology in December 2022.

In October 2022, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) confirmed it had concluded a successful spectrum auction, bringing in almost $187.5 million.

The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) also updated its roadmap for the issue of spectrum in the 700MHz, 2600MHz and 26GHz bands in August 2022.

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*Top image source: Communication tower photo created by wirestock - www.freepik.com

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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