MTC has settled a longstanding dispute with the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) over a series of fees imposed by the regulator between March 2016 and June 2018.
Following a ruling by the country’s High Court, market leader MTC noted in an interim financial statement that “the matter has been settled with the regulator for an amount of NAD70 million (US$4.36 million), which has been accrued in full in the results for the period ending 31 March 2022.”
As reported by TeleGeography, MTC is among the industry players that in 2012 launched a legal challenge against section 23 of the Communications Act in Namibia’s High Court. The plaintiffs argued that through this act, the CRAN had imposed levies that were not constitutional.
In a statement issued last week, the CRAN noted: “The parties have been engaged in negotiations over an extensive period and CRAN is pleased to announce that the matter is now settled amicably. Consequently, the parties also agreed to withdraw all cases pending between them in the High Court.”
The regulator’s Chief Executive Emilia Nghikembua heralded the settlement as a turning point in relations with MTC. The operator has clashed with CRAN over several issues in the past few years; MTC argued that the regulator’s 2020 decision to issue a service licence to the city of Windhoek was “anti-competitive” and went against both the Communications Act and the Competitions Act, while CRAN claimed that MTC had unpaid service fees totalling NAD300 million.
“We are particularly pleased that we can now jointly focus on promoting technological innovation and the deployment of advanced facilities and services in order to support the social and economic growth of Namibia”, concluded Nghikembua.