Telecom Namibia could be the first Internet Protocol (IP) based fully converged telecom operator in Africa leading the way on the continent and letting Namibia leap-frog into the information society.
As the converged market share increases, this will allow Telecom Namibia to deepen fixed and fixed-wireless penetration while capturing a much larger share of the current mobile market.
This would make Namibia's telecommunications giant the only operator that could offer fully converged services in Namibia.
These are the latest findings presented in a 4-page Namibia Economic Public Research Unit (NEPRU) Private Sector Brief compiled for Telecom Namibia as one of the sponsors of the 2007/8 e-Access and Usage Household Survey conducted in 17 African countries by ResearchICTafrica.net.
The brief further states that "œTelecom Namibia would be best advised to become a converged low cost provider, tapping into un-served markets and delivering a developmental impetus for Namibia that other operators are unlikely to deliver."
With the new telecommunications bill, new players in the market and converging technologies, Telecom Namibia is likely to be the leading provider to offer a fully converged Web 3.0 type services to the untapped market.
Web 3.0 is all about two IP addresses communicating any data through any type of technology. This can range from fixed line, mobile, fixed, wireless, Wi-Fi, PDA, computer or to car navigation system technologies.
"Convergence would not only address the growing information needs of those that currently use ICTs , but also extend it to poor people and rural communities that cannot afford it currently," reads the brief.
For Telecom Namibia this is very much possible because Namibia has a vast un-served market. Therefore, "œrolling out next generation network services would allow Telecom Namibia to gain market share among current users of ICTs and to tap into the currently un-serves market segment."
Since Namibians spend nearly 10 percent of their income and a quarter of their disposable income on average on mobile telecommunication, "œadditional services (by Telecom Namibia) can attract an equal or even higher amount of the disposable of Namibians in the future."
This bodes well for Telecom Namibia since it is the only provider that can offer exclusive handset subsidies. Therefore "185,000 Namibia without a mobile phone at present would be willing to buy one at N$100," states the brief, adding that Telecom Namibia is price leader already in mobile products.
"Moving to fully IP convergence would allow Telecom Namibia to increase its market share, secure a sustainable future and be of service to Namibia delivering an ICT environment that creates jobs and generates economic growth," the brief concluded.
The recent NEPRU brief titled "Towards one converged telecommunication service" was compiled by local researcher Dr. Christoph Stork.