“I was asked to talk about VoIP in Namibia but i can not do so because there isn’t any” reiterated Mr Ferdinand Tjombe an Executive Chairman Namibia Strategic Business Communications (NSBC). Namibia like many other developing countries is faced with the critical challenges ranging from political interference, operators taking over “our markets”as concentration of the media continues to deepen, and revenues going down. Twelve year ago there was no mobile cellular network and no internet connectivity in Namibia. The current status of ICT in Nambia is that, in 2000 there was only about 30 000 internet users, currently there is an estimated amount of 75 000, compared with only 0.3 percent Namibian users in Africa. South Africa rated at 15, 8 percent. In Namibia, Telcom Namibia continues to monopolise the fixed line operations alone , with an Internet exchange point at one and eight numbers of ISP including Iway, Mweb, iAfrica, Verison, Internet technologies, Namibnet, Oasys, schoolNet, and Govt.Net.
Regulatory development, privatisation continue to rock the ICT industry in Namibia as MTC incumbent mobile operator partly privatised, the Portugal Telecom bought shares, while the Fixed Line monopoly still intact with Telecom Namibia. The New Communications Bill is said to be on its final stage, though has long been anticipated it promise “full competition”, the Bill will put some pressure on the state to stop unnecessary delays and ensure the independence of the regulatory agency. However, there is no clear legislation on the use of VoIP, as a results five Chinese nationals have been arrested on 18th May 2006 for using VoIP. These could further prevent the use of VoIP in Namibia and other countries in the region given lack of good governance and political transparency. The presentation of Mr Tjombe shows the realities of live in the global south, challenges to researchers, ISP , broader civil society and the general public.