Namibia rolls out 4G while SA dithers

2012-05-20 10:00
Sixolisiwe Ndawo
Namibia has acted resolutely to roll out 4G technology in the interests of its economy, while South Africa dithers over when and how to issue this high-demand spectrum.

The department of communication is still weighing its decision on when and how 4G LTE technology will be made available to South African operators, while Namibia has become the second African country to launch it.
South Africa’s regulator is yet to announce when it will begin to dish out this spectrum, as the industry counts the cost of the lost opportunity due to the delay. The delay and lack of clarity have frustrated local telecoms firms.

South African companies lag behind as first-to-market advantage goes to their competitors on the continent.

Cameroon, Angola and a few countries on the Horn of Africa have begun limited 4G roll-outs.

On Wednesday Namibia’s leading network operator, Mobile Telecommunication Limited (MTC), announced the commencement of the 4G era in our neighbouring country.

4G LTE is the new mobile communication generation that has revolutionised internet and connectivity speeds in general.

Miguel Geraldes, managing director of MTC, said: “The speed will be tremendously faster and there will be no latency when you click the button.

“You no longer have to wait to get a response from the network as this will now be instant, which is significant for business.”

Icasa’s Paseka Maleka said: “Regarding the licensing of high-demand spectrum (4G), the process has been postponed until further notice, pending the finalisation and issuing of the policy direction by the minister of communications.”