Namibian regulator cuts local mobile and fixed call termination rates by 50%

19 September 2022

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has announced a 50% reduction in local mobile and fixed-line termination rates, in a bid to reduce the operational costs of Namibian telecom operators.

The reduced local mobile and fixed-line termination rates will be N$0.05 (US$0.0 034)/minute, compared to N$0.10 previously.

According to the regulator, this decision is supported by a study conducted in 2021 to determine the impact of lower termination rates on the telecommunications industry. The study found that "one of the main cost elements for operators providing voice services is interconnection.

Of the 2.9 million subscribers in Namibia, 90% are Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) subscribers, while the remaining 10% are jointly owned by Telecom Namibia, Paratus Telecommunications and MTN Business Namibia. This means that the other operators pay MTC more for calls made to its network than for calls made from MTC to other networks, as its network carries most of the outgoing traffic (calls and SMS).

Once implemented, this initiative "will help 'other operators' reduce their operational costs and be more competitive. However, it will not directly enable consumers to make cheaper calls. Consumers will benefit indirectly from increased competition in the industry, which will increase the variety of services and products.

"However, CRAN is looking at other options for reducing voice call tariffs to provide relief to consumers in the medium term and a decision will be communicated in due course," said Emilia Nghikembua, the institution's executive director.

This new measure will come into effect October 1,