TELECOMS

Cell One cleared Over Trustco Mobile activities in Namibia

The communication regulator and Cell One have smoked the peace pipe over the operations of Namibia’s Trustco Mobile.

The Namibia Communication Commission (NCC) has, however, asked Cell One and Trustco Mobile to clearly state, in their promotional materials, the airtime value and that it is being bought from Cell One and not from Trustco Mobile.

Trustco Mobile sells virtual mobile airtime on behalf of Cell One. Only the airtime is sold in exchange for a one-month life cover insurance to consumers, which could be up to N$100000. "We have no issues with Trustco Mobile," said David Imbili, the Chairman of NCC.

Cell One and Trustco Mobile have already rectified the problem and issued new advert materials that clearly tell consumers that the airtime sold is from Cell One.

Imbili said the NCC met with Cell One who clarified the operations of Trustco Mobile. The NCC was earlier concerned that Trustco Mobile, the joint venture between Cell One and Trustco group is operating as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), something that the current NCC legislation does not permit.

"We have met and there is nobody operating an MVNO," Imbili said. The term MVNO refers to an operator without network licence who goes into partnership with an existing mobile network operator to piggyback on the network. Imbili said unlike with Virgin Mobile in South Africa, Trustco Mobile is not using Cell One's network.

Spokesperson for Cell One, Rejoice Itembu, had earlier maintained that Trustco Mobile is merely a distributor of Cell One airtime, just as with many other airtime distributors. "The only difference is Trustco Mobile added some value-added services to the package," said Itembu.

New Era

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