New licensing framework. for the. Republic of Namibia

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1 New licensing framework for the Republic of Namibia 2008 Draft for discussion purposes only Version July Namibia Ministry of ICT / Palladium Strategy Consultants (Pty) Ltd Page 1 of 9

2 Table of Contents 1 Introduction Objectives of this new licensing framework The new licensing framework Introduction Framework applied New licensing regime for Namibia as a developing country Specific aspects of the new licensing regime for Namibia Migration policy Conclusion Glossary... 8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: Generic licensing categories... 4 Figure 2: New licensing framework Namibia Ministry of ICT / Palladium Strategy Consultants (Pty) Ltd Page 2 of 9

3 1 Introduction This document provides a licensing framework for Namibia. The framework serves as a companion document to the Information Technology, Telecommunications, Broadcasting and Overarching ICT Policies. The aim of this new licencing framework is to remove policy and regulatory barriers in order to facilitate and promote effective competition, to reflect the reality of technological convergence and to liberalise the ICT sector. 2 Objectives of this new licensing framework The specific objectives of transitioning from the current licensing regime to a new, service neutral licensing environment are as follows: a. To implement important Policies defined in the new ICT Policy for Namibia b. To enable the new (converged) Regulatory Authority to fulfil its required duties and responsibilities c. To open the market to more effective and efficient sector operations d. To create future compatibility with market liberalisation. 3 The new licensing framework 3.1 Introduction The new licensing structure has been developed from the position of integrated network platforms that deploy efficient and advanced technologies, and in future will carry all forms of communication originating from various service providers. This communication includes fixed and mobile voice, data and moving pictures. Namibia s new licensing structure embodies a need for a broader and less prescriptive approach to licensing. This framework seeks to: a. Meet the needs of users and the economy at large b. Ensure the continued growth of the telecommunications market c. Allow commercial management in the sector maximum freedom to operate. 3.2 Framework applied A holistic licensing framework has been developed to assist Namibia to deal with a number of challenges. This new licensing regime enables the following: 2008 Namibia Ministry of ICT / Palladium Strategy Consultants (Pty) Ltd Page 3 of 9

4 a. Recognition of Next Generation Networks (NGN) as a key driver of technological convergence. Due to the uncertainty of its evolution path, the new licensing structure aims to avoid reliance on any one view of future market structure, whilst also avoiding unnecessary complexity in licensing structures b. Transfer of spectrum from the broadcast to the telecommunications sectors (as in the case with digital TV migration) or visa versa. The future licensing regime in Namibia takes account of current market realities. The infrastructure role of the dominant fixed line operator is protected until a definitive position on infrastructure competition is adopted by Government. Namibia s licensing framework utilises the following generic framework. Figure 1: Generic licensing categories The generic licensing categories are defined as follows: a. Licence exempt services do not require a licence; although the Regulatory Authority will issue a list detailing exactly which activities are considered so. In addition to these basic types, the Regulatory Authority will also specify a framework for individual and / or general authorisations. Licence exempt includes web-based content, switch-less resellers, private networks (not reselling), local area networks, systems integrators and software. b. Spectrum represents the range of frequencies of electro - magnetic waves including radio, electricity and infra-red and is expressed in Hertz. Spectrum is managed as a scarce resource. c. Services are provided to users and include voice, data, broadband, Internet, private networks, Least Call Routing (LCR), Electronic Numbering (ENUM) provider Namibia Ministry of ICT / Palladium Strategy Consultants (Pty) Ltd Page 4 of 9

5 d. Broadcasting is the simultaneous, real-time distribution of any media from one source to many recipients using any transport method. Broadcasting includes commercial, community, free to air, subscription and public broadcasting. e. Networking is the transmission channels interconnecting all client and server stations as well as all supporting hardware and software. Networks include routing, signal distriubution, switching, transmission (transponders) and international gateway. f. Facilities are telecommunications civil works and related aspects. Facilities include co-location, space on or within poles, ducts, cable trays, manholes, hand holds and conduits; duct, cables (terrestrial and undersea), wires; exchange building, cable landing station, satellite earth station; and associated support systems to any one of these. 3.3 New licensing regime for Namibia as a developing country Two licence categories will exist in Namibia. These are as follows: 1. Electronic Communications Services (ECS) a. Telecommunications b. Broadcasting 2. Electronic Communications Network Services (ECNS). This includes the Network and Facilities. Mega Hertz (MHz) Web-based content Not for profit Switch-less resellers Licence exempt Private networks, Local Area Networks System integrators, software Spectrum Radio apparatus, satellite transponder MHz Co-location Mast, tower, antenna, satellite dish 1a. Telecommunications service Voice, Data, Broadband, Internet, Private Networks, Least Call Routing (LCR), Electronic Numbering (ENUM) provider, et al Routing Switching 1. Electronic Communications Services 1b. Broadcasting service Public, community, free to air, subscription, commercial, Telco TV, content aggregators 2. Electronic Communications Network Services Network Signal distribution International gateway Transmission(includes transponders ) Facilities Co-location, space on or within poles, ducts, cable trays, manholes, hand holds and conduits Duct, cables (terrestrial and undersea), wires Exchange building, cable landing station, satellite earth station Associated support systems to any of the above Figure 2: New licensing framework 2008 Namibia Ministry of ICT / Palladium Strategy Consultants (Pty) Ltd Page 5 of 9

6 Key elements of this new licensing regime are: a. Electronic Communications Services (ECS) licences will be issued on a service and technology neutral basis. b. Facilities and Networks form one Electronic Communications Network Services (ECNS) licence category but can be separated based on the rationale that the former involves scarce resources whereas the latter does not. The number of licensees building networks will not be limited but the latter might. The Regulatory Authority will attach necessary conditions such as coverage, and service quality to these licences. c. Electronic Communications Services (ECS) and license exempt services are separate. ECS consists mostly of the conveyance of signals, whereas licence exemptees are retailers, local area network (LAN) specialists, Information Technology (IT) companies and so forth. Thus e - mail, Internet or IPTV are considered ECS, whereas web - content is not. d. Spectrum is assigned as part of the licences. Holders of spectrum therefore have the right to own, build, operate and maintain the network equipment and facilities (i.e. antennae) necessary to provide the services which make use of that spectrum, as a vertically integrated spectrum licence is adopted. Fixed line, mobile, broadcasting, international satellite, Value Added Networks (VANs), multi - national telecommunications providers and Industrial, Scientific and Military (ISM) are subject to spectrum licences. e. Separate licences for international gateways are not required. The holders of network or service licences will be bestowed with this right since it is Government s Policy to liberalise the international traffic market, which as a prerequisite will require a specified time period for the local incumbent to rebalance its international vis à - vis local rates. The properties of the new licencing regime are as follows: # Licence category Property Industry players to be considered 1 Electronic Communications Services (ECS) Liberalisation and increased competition of commercial services. These services are subject to consumer protection and universal service obligations. 1a. Telecommunications Services: Fixed line, Mobile, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1b. Broadcasting Services: Television, Radio, Pay TV, Content aggregators, Telco TV, Mobile TV. 2 Electronic Communications Network Services (ECNS) Facilities and Networks can be separated based on the rationale that the former involves scarce resources Networks: Value Added Networks (VANs), Private networks, Signal distribution Facilities: Fixed line 2008 Namibia Ministry of ICT / Palladium Strategy Consultants (Pty) Ltd Page 6 of 9

7 whereas the latter does not. The number of licensees building networks will not be limited but the latter might. telecommunications, International gateway (satellite and cable), Municipalities, transport and power utilities, signal towers, radio masts. 3.4 Specific aspects of the new licensing regime for Namibia a. All licences are issued for a defined period. b. Class licences for telecommunications services and networks allow telecommunications providers to construct, own and operate telecommunications networks. Individual licences for other types of telecommunications services or networks apply to services that have a significant socio - economic or electronic communications sector impact. c. Interconnection guidelines between service providers are set by the Regulatory Authority. d. The Regulatory Authority sets guidelines to distinguish between community and commercial broadcasters. Commercial broadcasters are profit oriented, community broadcasters are not profit seeking and are subject to an annual audit of their financial accounts. e. The Regulatory Authority may institute a system of auction or competitive bidding as an instrument to manage scarce radio wave frequencies. f. Companies holding telecommunications and network services licences may not have more than forty nine percent foreign shareholding. 4 Migration policy All existing licences, including the provision of internet and data services, will be replaced by service - neutral and technology - neutral licences. These licences will cover all forms of value added telecommunications services, and includes Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). 5 Conclusion The new licencing framework, as set out herein, will be incorporated in the new Communications Bill and forms part of Namibia s process toward managed telecommunications and broadcasting liberalisation process as approved by Cabinet. Signed: Honourable Joel Kaapanda Minister of ICT September Namibia Ministry of ICT / Palladium Strategy Consultants (Pty) Ltd Page 7 of 9

8 6 Glossary Cable trays - Are flat trays that are located inside and outside buildings and are used to house the EC and sometimes even the electrical cables. Communications - Any emission, transmission or reception of sound, pictures, text or any other information by wire, radio waves, optical media, electromagnetic systems, telecommunications networks or any other means of a like nature and includes both telecommunications and broadcasting. Conduits - Pipes within buildings, which are used to house the EC and sometimes even the electrical cables of the building. Convergence The integration of industries that up to now have largely operated separately from one another, but meshing along a specific value chain or bundling from different services at the applications end. Convergence is driven by the digitisation of the presentation, transmission, storage, processing and creation of information. Ducts - Underground pipes connecting manholes, pipe junction boxes and hand holes. Electronic Communications Communications by means of a computer or transmitted signal. Hand hole - A very small jointing / draw box which can accommodate a small cable joint-closure or facilitate a change in a duct / pipe run direction, only accessible by a person s hand. Industry A segment of the economy concerned with the production of goods and services. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) - Any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing and distance learning. Interconnection - The logical or physical or logical linking of networks and services to their like equivalents. Licensee A person granted or issued with a licence. Manhole (jointing pit) - Forms part the underground distribution cable system and provides a suitable underground working space for cable jointers. Poles - Structures that are placed in the ground to carry overhead plant at specific ground clearances and form part of the overhead cable distribution network. Rights of way - Any strip or area of land, including surface and overhead or underground space, which is granted by deed or easement for the construction and maintenance of specified linear elements. Sector A distinct part of a market that can be described, categorised and targeted according to its own criteria and characteristics Namibia Ministry of ICT / Palladium Strategy Consultants (Pty) Ltd Page 8 of 9

9 Servitude - A right belonging to one person, in connection with the property of another; entitling the former either to exercise some right or benefit in the property, or to prohibit the latter from exercising one or other of the normal rights of ownership. Telecommunications network - A transmission system (including any apparatus, software and stored data comprised within such a system) intended for the conveyance, transmission, and routing of signals of any description by the use of electrical, magnetic or electromagnetic energy, including a private telecommunications network, but shall not include a system intended to be used for broadcasting. Telecommunications services - Services whose provision consists wholly or mainly in the conveyance, transmission or routing of signals on telecommunications networks but does not include broadcasting or content services. Universal Service Service available, as far as possible, to all the people without discrimination on any basis with adequate facilities at reasonable cost. Way- leave - A general consent in writing between an operator and another person, which grants the operator the right to house, inspect, install, maintain, adjust, repair or alter infrastructure upon a specified property Namibia Ministry of ICT / Palladium Strategy Consultants (Pty) Ltd Page 9 of 9

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