Namibians spend 39 million hours speaking on the phone

Namibians have spent 39,3 million hours speaking on the phone in the first three months of the year.

These calls were made from Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) and Telecom Namibia (TN), as well as landlines.

According to a telecommunications quarterly statistics report by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran), the amount of time spent making phone calls has remained relatively constant in the first quarter of 2024.

MTC represented 37 million hours, while TN Mobile totalled 1,1 million hours.

Additionally, nearly all TN Mobile’s local outgoing calls are being terminated on the MTC network, whereas 99% of MTC’s outgoing mobile calls are terminated on its network.

This limited connection between the networks could be due to factors like roaming charges or technical limitations.

Namibians also spent 44 166 hours on outgoing international calls from mobile phones.

The total number of outgoing calls made from mobile phones to landlines was 363 133 hours.

“Notably, fixed-line calls are gaining importance, as evidenced by a nine percent increase in outgoing minutes,” noted the report.

The total number of phone calls made from landlines in Namibia was 587 350 hours.

“Moreover, mobile off-net fixed-line minutes saw a significant increase of 33%, indicating a trend of more voice calls being diverted to fixed lines, despite ongoing decline in fixed-line subscriptions.”

Investment in the telecommunications sector rose to N$267 million, compared to N$137 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.

“Investment patterns in the sector are variable. They are primarily driven by specific infrastructure and technological requirements at any given time,” noted the report.

The broadcasting sector, however, experienced 4% revenue.

Notably, advertisement revenue only accounted for 9% of the total broadcasting revenue.

“This highlights the limited contribution of advertising to the sector’s overall financial performance,” noted the report.

Pay TV subscriptions saw a 9% increase, possibly due to the broadcasting of major sporting events.

According to the report, the number of active SIM cards has remained stable.

“The number of active SIM cards remained stable in the first quarter. Mobile broadband subscriptions also showed stability, with a consistent 66% of SIM cards being used for internet access.”

However, there has been a shift in consumer preferences as fixed-line subscriptions, both business and residential, continued to decline.

“This ongoing decline reflects the underlying market trend. Consumers are increasingly moving towards mobile and broadband solutions, reducing reliance on traditional fixed-line services,” noted the report.

According to the report, MetroNet (Ethernet) and leased lines saw a slight increase.

“This decline is indicative of a broader industry shift to open access provision, fibre and IP services, which are becoming increasingly preferred for their efficiency and advanced capabilities for wholesale services.”

The report also showed an expansion of 4G broadband coverage from 79% in 2021 to 88% in 2023, exceeding the national broadband policy objective.

“This expansion is attributed to upgrades of existing sites, the erection of new Radio Access Network sites and the fulfilment of coverage obligations as part of the conditions of the allocation of 700 and 800 MHz spectrum by Cran in 2023,” noted the report.


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