LICENSING

Licensing Application Procedure

 

License applications will follow the process contained in the Regulations regarding Licensing Procedures for Telecommunications and Broadcasting Service Licences, and Regulations Prescribing Procedures Regarding Application for, and Amendment, Renewal, Transfer and Cancellation of Spectrum Licences.

 

  • CRAN does not accept incomplete applications.
  • The application will be processed on payment of the application fee.
  • The application will be published in the Government Gazette for public comments for a period of 14 days.
  • CRAN will forward any comments received to the applicant who will provide a response in writing within 14 days.
  • CRAN analyses the application as whole, including all documentation submitted by the applicant and comments received from the public, and makes a decision.
  • CRAN will inform the applicant in writing as to the final decision made.

 

Get your licence today

 

It’s our job to regulate, issue and control licences for telecommunications in the country. To get your licence, fill in the application form, pay the necessary fee and get it to us. The application will be published in the Government Gazette for 14 days so that the public can make their comments. We will send these on to you, take a look at your application and then make a decision. We’ll let you know.

Broadcast Licence

Broadcasting Service Licences Categories:

  • Commercial Broadcasting Service;
  • Community Broadcasting Service;
  • Public Broadcasting Service;
  • Signal Distribution;
  • Multiplex; and
  • Class Comprehensive Multiplex and Signal Distribution.

Commercial Broadcasting Service

A broadcasting service operating for profit.

 

Community Broadcasting Service

A broadcasting service that serves a particular community (either geographic or a group of persons having a common interest) and is wholly-owned by a non-profit association registered in terms of Section 21 of the Companies Act, 2004 (Act No. 28 of 2004) or, if it is not registered, then it should be established in terms of a constitution (or other agreement) containing provisions that comply with the effect of the provisions of Section 21 of the Companies Act, 2004 (Act No. 28 of 2004).

 

Public Broadcasting Service

These are broadcasting services provided by the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC);

  • In respect of the commercial, community, and public broadcasting service categories, each broadcasting service licensee may provide its own signal distribution service or may contract with a signal distribution service licensee for such service.
  • In respect of the commercial, community, and public broadcasting service categories, each broadcasting service licensee must, in addition to its broadcasting service licence, obtain from the Authority any required radio frequency spectrum licence.

Signal Distribution

The electronic communications network service where the output signal of a broadcasting service is taken from the point of origin, being the point where such signals is made available in its final content format, from where it is conveyed to any broadcasting target area, by means of electronic communications.

The conveyance of a broadcasting signal in its final content format on behalf of a broadcasting licensee to its listener base, in the geographical area it is licensed for.

 

Multiplex

Means the operations of multiplexer equipment for the purpose of delivering broadcasting services.

 

Class Comprehensive Multiplex and Signal Distribution

Means providing an electronic communications network service for signal distribution as well as operation of multiplexer equipment for the purpose of delivering broadcasting services.

 

How to apply for a Commercial Radio/Television Licence

Any person intending to operate a commercial radio station and/or a commercial television station must submit his or her application in writing to CRAN using the official application form and further attach all relevant documentation as listed on the form. In addition, there is an application fee that is payable in the amount of N$10,000, which is non-refundable. Please note that this amount is subject to change.

 

How to apply for a Community Radio Licence

Any person intending to operate a community radio station must submit his or her application in writing to CRAN, using the official application form and attach all relevant documentation as listed on the form. In addition, there is an application fee that is payable in the amount of N$500, which is non-refundable. Please note that this amount is subject to change.

 

Requirements for a Broadcasting Service Licence

  • Must 51% Namibian ownership as per the Communication Act No.8 (Commercial Use only);
  • Detailed Business Plan of your organisation (Commercial Use only);
  • 5 year financial plan (inclusive of Balance sheet, Income and Cash Flow statements) and Operational Plan (Commercial Use only);
  • Detailed Technical Description of Services intended to be supplied;
  • 6 Months banking statements the registered entity. If the entity is new then the financial statements of the of Directors or/and investors must be submitted (Commercial Use only);
  • Founding Statement of the Applicant (Certified); and
  • Certified Identification documents of Shareholders/ partners.

Telecommunications Licence

Telecommunications Service Licence Categories

The following are categories of telecommunications service licences, all of which are technology and service neutral:

 

Individual

Comprehensive Telecommunications Service Licence: Electronic Communications Network Service (ECNS) and Electronic Communications Service (ECS);

 

Class

  • Electronic Communications Service (ECS);
  • Electronic Communications Network Service (ECNS);
  • Class Comprehensive Telecommunications Service Licence (ECS & ECNS);
  • Network Facilities; and
  • Non-Profit ECS/ECNS

Class ECS

Any service provided to the public, sections of the public or subscribers to such service, which consists wholly or mainly of the conveyance of electronic communications over an electronic communications network, but excludes broadcasting services.

This licence allows a licensee to provide telecommunications services to its customers over another licensees network.

 

Class ECNS

A service whereby a person makes available an electronic communication network, whether by sale, lease or otherwise for the person’s own use for the provision of electronic communications service.

This licence allows a licensee to roll out and operate physical electronic infrastructure. This network can be made up of any technology that the licensee may choose and may enter into commercial agreements with other licensees to allow them to use its network e.g. a Class ECS licensee.

 

Class Comprehensive Telecommunications Services Licence (ECNS and ECS)

This licence is a combination of ECNS and ECS, and therefore allows the licensee to provide services to its customers and, own and operate a network.

 

Network Facilities

A Telecommunications Service Licence entitling the holder to construct, maintain, own and make available one or more network elements, infrastructure or other facilities that facilitate the provision of telecommunication services, broadcasting services, electronic communications services or application services including content services.

 

Non-Profit ECS/ECNS

An electronic communications network service or electronic communications service that is wholly-owned by a non-profit association registered in terms of Section 21 of the Companies Act, 2004 (Act No. 28 of 2004) or, if it is not registered, is established in terms of a constitution (or other agreement) containing provisions that comply with the effect of the provisions of section 21 of the Companies Act, 2004 (Act No. 28 of 2004).

A Non-Profit ECS/ECNS Telecommunications Service Licence is utilised to provide security services by installing surveillance cameras at strategic points in the suburbs by neighbourhood watches. These entities do not provide telecommunications services on a commercial basis.

 

How to apply for a Telecommunications Service Licence

Any person intending to operate a Telecommunications Service Licence must submit his or her application in writing to CRAN, using the official application form and attach all relevant documentation as listed on the form. In addition, there is an application fee that is payable in the amount of N$10,000, which is non-refundable. Please note that this amount is subject to change.

 

Requirements for a Telecommunications Service Licence

  • 51% Namibian ownership as per the Communications Act (No. 8 of 2009);
  • Application fee of N$10 000;
  • The submission of a detailed business plan;
  • A detailed technical description of intended services;
  • The type of billing system and proposed tariffs for service;
  • For Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) that will call out to other networks, a number range is required;
  • Bank statements for 6 months banking statements of the registered entity;
  • For a new entity, financial statements of Directors or/and investors must be submitted;
  • A technical description of equipment to be used (ICASA Type-approval equipment only); and
  • Certified founding statement of the applicant and identification documents of shareholders and/or partners.

Spectrum Licence

A Spectrum Licence is required in addition to any licence to operate a network or to provide telecommunications or broadcasting services issued under the Communications Act (No. 8 of 2009), where the operation of the network or the provision of the service or the use thereof entails the use of radio waves. When a person applies for a licence to operate a network, provide telecommunications or broadcasting services, that person must also apply for such Spectrum Use licence, as it is necessary to render the service concerned.

 

Each telecommunications or broadcasting service licensee must, in addition to its telecommunications or broadcasting service licence, and each person providing a telecommunications or broadcasting service that may be provided without a licence, must obtain from the Authority any required radio frequency spectrum licences.

 

How to apply for a Spectrum Licence:

Any person intending to operate a Telecommunications Service Licence must submit his or her application in writing to CRAN, using the official application form and attach all relevant documentation as listed on the form. In addition, Regulations prescribing fees for Spectrum Licences are published in Government Gazette No. 7216, Notice No. 187, dated 19 May 2020.

 

Requirements for a Spectrum Licence

  • Any person intending to use spectrum must submit an application;
  • If your application for a commercial, public or community service broadcasting licence requires the use of spectrum, ensure that an application for a spectrum licence is simultaneously submitted;
  • Certified copied of Identity Documents of the applicant or licensee and contact person should accompany;
  • If an authorised agent completes the application on behalf of the applicant, such agent should submit with the application form a power of attorney which authorises him or her to lodge the application on behalf of the applicant;
  • Copies of registration documents should be provided in the event that the applicant is a juristic person;
  • The Authority may request further information or documentation which must be provided to the authority in the time and the manner set out by the Authority;
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)/Lease Agreement of Site Location (Spectrum Use Application Only);
  • Technical Coverage Prediction of area to be serviced (Spectrum Use Application Only); and
  • Type Approval Certificate for the equipment to be used (Spectrum Use Application Only).

Type Approval

What is Type Approval?

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) defines ‘Type Approval’ as the technical evaluation of equipment against prescribed specifications with the objective of determining its conformance to these specifications.

 

Who requires Type Approval certification?

The Type Approval Regulations are applicable to all persons who use, sell, offer for sale or connect telecommunications equipment to an electronic communications network within the Republic of Namibia.

 

What is “telecommunications equipment”?

Telecommunications refers to communications or networking equipment with an interface to public network or wide area network services and includes, but not limited to:

  • Radio Transmitter Equipment;
    • Call Monitoring Equipment;
    • Data Equipment (modems, routers, multiplexers, etc.);
    • Facsimile Equipment;
    • Network Equipment;
    • Paging Equipment;
    • Payphone Terminal Equipment;
    • Private Exchange Equipment;
    • Radio Communications Equipment;
    • Satellite Earth Terminal;
    • Short Range Devices/ Low power terminals;
    • Digital Set-Top Box;
    • Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Network Equipment; and
    • WiMAX terminal.

 

How do I apply for type approval certification?

Type Approval certificates must be obtained prior to importation of equipment. The application for Type Approval must be made on the relevant form set out in the Regulations in Respect of Type Approval and Technical Standards for Telecommunications Equipment.

 

All applications for Type Approval are to be submitted by hand or electronically. Hand delivered applications can be submitted at the head office of the Authority:

Communications House, No. 56, Robert Mugabe Avenue, Windhoek; By Post: Private Bag 13309, Windhoek 9000; Email: TA@cran.na; Faxed applications may be forwarded to +264 61 222790; or fax to e-mail to: 0886550852.

 

What if my telecommunications equipment is only in transit through Namibia, do I still require type approval certification?

Telecommunications equipment which is temporarily imported into Namibia for re-export does not require a type approval certificate.

 

How long does it take to have my equipment type approved?

The duration depends on the equipment involved and the completeness of the documentation submitted. However, it typically takes about 4 weeks to complete. Kindly note that it is 4 weeks per application not batch submission. The application process may however take longer if an application is incomplete and necessary documents are outstanding.

 

How long is a type approval certificate valid?

One calendar year and it should be renewal annually.

 

What are the consequences if equipment is not type approved?

It is the responsibility of vendors or equipment suppliers to acquire the necessary type approval documentation. Consumers and resellers must ensure that the telecommunications equipment they purchase is type approved in Namibia.

 

CRAN will prosecute noncompliance of regulations as regulatory offences and enforce the provisions of these regulations in terms of sections 114 and 127 of the Communications Act, (No. 8 of 2009).

 

What are the fees payable for type approval certification?

Different fees are applicable to different equipment types, which such fees as subject to change. Please enquire by emailing to: TA@cran.na

 

Is there a database of type approved equipment?

The database of type approved equipment is available on the CRAN website and is updated as and when equipment is approved.

 

What is the purpose of the database of type approved equipment?

The database’s purpose is to demonstrate that a particular telecommunication equipment has been type approved and that it conforms to industry quality standards, technical and safety regulation, both in Namibia and international.

 

If equipment is on the type approval database, am I still required to apply for type approval certification?

Yes, the database shows the certificate holder, making it easy for applicants to contact them to utilise their certificate. Unfortunately, most certificate holders do not want to share their approved certificate with other suppliers/vendors. If the holder of the certificate is not willing to share his/her certificate, then the applicant must apply for their Type Approval certificate separately.

 

What does the type approval process entail?

The Authority is of the view that the manufacturers of equipment should apply for type approval and carry the costs in respect thereof, not the reseller. The Type Approval certificate is obtained from the vendor and forms part of the shipping documentation. SMEs are thus encouraged to follow this process.

 

SMEs are further encouraged to familiarise themselves with the regulatory framework of the industry within which they operate to ensure, which framework also aims to protect their businesses from grey products and products that pose a risk to public health and safety. CRAN is for ever prepared to assist SME’s through the process to ensure compliance.

 

The approval process depends on the submission of complete applications and timely payment of type approval application fees. The Authority does not process incomplete applications or if the application fees have not been paid. These two factors represent the two main delaying factors within the process.

 

Why should telecommunications products be type approved?

The type approval regulations are in line with international practices followed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) region one regulators and standardization processes as prescribed by the ITU. Namibia is not the only country implementing Type Approval, South Africa and Botswana are also doing the same thing and most of the vendors and suppliers are operating in the same market without complaints.

 

What type of equipment and devices should be type approved?

The Communications Act (No. 8 of 2009), Section 80, is clear on what equipment should be type approved.

 

The Act defines telecommunications services and electronic communications services as follows-

 

“Electronic communications “ means any emissions, transmission or reception of sound, pictures, text or any other information by wire, radio, optical media, electromagnetic systems or any other means of like nature”

 

“Telecommunications services” means services whose provision consists wholly or partly in the transmission or routing of information on telecommunications networks by means of telecommunications processes but does not include broadcast services.”

 

An example is the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies embedded in your laptop and other devices, which allow the consumer to connect to the internet via a Wi-Fi router instead of a physical cable. CRAN’s mandate allows it to type approve the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules within the laptop to ensure that such equipment is manufactured within acceptable standards that have been tested at recognised laboratories operating in accordance with ISO17000 standards in order to protect the consumer.

 

What expertise does CRAN have to manage this?

Namibia does not have ISO17000 certified laboratories to conduct these tests at present. The regulations therefore allows for conformity acceptance of tests carried out by laboratories with the required standard certification provided that the required supporting documentation is submitted to CRAN. These laboratories are not limited to South Africa.

 

Furthermore, the regulations make provision for the acceptance of testing documents from testing laboratories outside Namibia provided that it meets all requirements set forth in the regulations.