Namibia has one of the most modern communication networks in Africa. One, nevertheless, has to keep in mind that only 2.3 million people live in the whole country, so infrastructure development is very price per head. MTC announced in mid 2017, that they want to reach 100 % land coverage in the next years (currently 98 % population coverage).
It is possible to call directly to 200+ countries in the world. Since 1996 all lines are being upgraded into fibre-optic technology allowing ADSL internet speed and many more features. Public phones for use by cash or – more often – FlexiCards/TeleCards (can be bought from any Telecom outlet and major stores/supermarkets) are available throughout cities, towns and larger villages.
Until 1996 it was common to have operator lines on most farms and up to 12 farms shared a landline.
Internet Cafés are readily available in major towns. Wifi-Hotspots are available in several hotels, restaurants and cafés throughout the country. Also more and more rural accommodation establishments get Wifi for their guests (but mostly with snail speed). All landlines are operated by Telecom Namibia, in Windhoek Telecom gets competition through Paratus.
Mobile Phone / Cellular
Namibia has a well working cellular network reaching up to 95% of the population.
By far the biggest provider is MTC (had a monopoly until 2007). It is followed by TN Mobile (formerly Leo), which is constantly enlarging its network.
MTC (Tango) and TN Mobile (Prepaid) do offer different prepaid solutions and pricing models as well as internet solutions. Prices do not vary a lot between the two major providers.
MTC’s internet products are called “Netman“.
MTC is by far the largest mobile operator in Namibia. This manual for pre-paid usage is therefore solely explaining the process with MTC and not tn mobile. ).
- Buy a MTC Starter Pack for N$ 6.99 (N$ 6.95) incl. N$ 5 airtime. You may buy it at fuel stations, in supermarkets, MTC shops. The starter pack is made up of a brief manual and a combined SIM card (Micro/Nano). The SIM card is activated automatically when it connects with the MTC network the first time..
- Airtime can be bought at street dealers, supermarkets, fuel stations, airtime vending machines, MTC shops etc.
- You must load airtime onto your phone. Simply use the shortcode *132*code# You will immediately get a reply message on your phone with the loaded amount. IF you bought a airtime scratchcard, you must leave all the # symbols in between the numbers out.
- Different tariff options exist with MTC prepaid. It is good to set T49 as a base tariff. Simply send #T49# to 134 and it will be activated. This must be done BEFORE recharging! Depending on the airtime amount this tariff is valid for a specific time frame (e.g. N$ 150 for 45 days). A minute or SMS (except the first one per day) within Namibia is only 38 ct. You can load packages like Aweh at any time in addition (no need then for step 5). Simply send e.g. #SuperAweh# to 134. Then you will get a validity period of one week for N$ 53: 700 free call minutes, 1500 free SMS, 350 MB of data.
- To use data services/internet/email (parts) of your loaded airtime should be converted into data. Otherwise data will set you back with N$ 0.90 per MB. To convert, simply dial Sshortcode *682# and look for the data pack that suits you best (e.g. N$ 85 for 400 MB – always valid for 60 days).
- To then use Data services you only have to set the APN on your phone: ppsinternet or internet NO other details are needed (e.g. password). To use MMS services, simply send MMS to 1251. You will get an installation SMS (does not work e.g. with iOS).
- After every call you will see your balance on your phone, including data as well as the general validity of your SIM card (always 90 days after last payable call/SMS). Otherwise simply check your balance manually through shortcode *131#