jannievanzyl

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There are many other ways to improve coverage and capacity, many clever ways. This is perhaps what ICASA is getting at.
There are a few, mostly involving clever tricks in terms of looking at traffic peaks and dips and user behaviour. Then each vendor will have capacity enhancements which can be called upon instead of adding in sites or "antennas", these can be software and/or hardware. Optimisation is a bit of an art in this regard, every cluster will have a different combination and this is what needs to be found in order to achieve results.

Your sugesstions are very vague. Can you maybe do a point by point list of the various things MNOs can do with the expected increase in coverage/throughput/user base per point?

Tx!
 

dominic

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ICASA needs get their asses in gear regarding the sub-2600MHz spectrum, and especially the 800-900MHz range, or else we will be left behind (still!)..

DoC is the culprit this time. With the ongoing clusterfsck that it digital migration we will not see the first (790-852MHz) or second (700-790Mhz) dividend become available before 2016.
 

dominic

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Yeah, the principal of 'use it or lose it' should also apply to gov depts. Let DTI take a crack at it ... heck I think even Marthinus would have done more with it by now.

if it were up to me :) i would fold the entire DoC into DTI under a deputy director general...
 

MickeyD

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DoC is the culprit this time. With the ongoing clusterfsck that it digital migration we will not see the first (790-852MHz) or second (700-790Mhz) dividend become available before 2016.
I group the whole lot in that CF... will edit. :D
 

SteveO

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Your sugesstions are very vague. Can you maybe do a point by point list of the various things MNOs can do with the expected increase in coverage/throughput/user base per point?

Tx!

Of course I am being vague Jannie, I know how much most MNO spend on this sort of thing.... :D
 

SteveO

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No amount of clever tricks or re-farming will be sufficient to cater for the explosion in mobile data. Within the very foreseeable future the volume of mobile data will outstrip fixed line data.

DoC/ICASA needs get their asses in gear regarding the sub-2600MHz spectrum, and especially the 800-900MHz range, or else we will be left behind (still!).

They cannot allocate it at the last minute as network operators need time to plan and source funding as, believe it or not, they do have medium/long term network roll out plans! New sites are not rolled out overnight...

I'm not disputing this, I'm just trying to look at what ICASA is saying from another perspective. There are ways and means by which the operators can better their networks and I think ICASA wants to see this before they go ahead and grant massive chunks of spectrum. Its a sore point all over Africa right now where many countries' regulators are slapping operators with fines in order to force these offenders to improve their networks.
 

MickeyD

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I'm not disputing this, I'm just trying to look at what ICASA is saying from another perspective. There are ways and means by which the operators can better their networks and I think ICASA wants to see this before they go ahead and grant massive chunks of spectrum. Its a sore point all over Africa right now where many countries' regulators are slapping operators with fines in order to force these offenders to improve their networks.
Which frequency bands are you referring to? 900/1800/2100MKz?
 

Creag

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No amount of clever tricks or re-farming will be sufficient to cater for the explosion in mobile data. Within the very foreseeable future the volume of mobile data will outstrip fixed line data.

DoC/ICASA needs get their asses in gear regarding the sub-2600MHz spectrum, and especially the 800-900MHz range, or else we will be left behind (still!).

They cannot allocate it at the last minute as network operators need time to plan and source funding as, believe it or not, they do have medium/long term network roll out plans! New sites are not rolled out overnight...

Especially as the best way to get internet to the masses will be through mobile operators as opposed to fixed line.
 

SteveO

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Which frequency bands are you referring to? 900/1800/2100MKz?

In what respect?
In terms of African regulators giving out fines its for 900, 1800 and 2100, WCDMA and GSM. In terms of spectrum to be granted I am talking about 800Mhz and 2600 in SA.
 

Maverick Jester

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I'm not disputing this, I'm just trying to look at what ICASA is saying from another perspective. There are ways and means by which the operators can better their networks and I think ICASA wants to see this before they go ahead and grant massive chunks of spectrum. Its a sore point all over Africa right now where many countries' regulators are slapping operators with fines in order to force these offenders to improve their networks.

The problem with your point, is that you assume that the staff at ICASA have a few brain cells between them...

If one really has to look at this from ICASA's (continually proven) perspective- ICASA want to shift all responsibility in improving mobile internet services, to the operators. Plain and simple...
 

MickeyD

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In what respect?
In terms of African regulators giving out fines its for 900, 1800 and 2100, WCDMA and GSM. In terms of spectrum to be granted I am talking about 800Mhz and 2600 in SA.

800 - agreed that they need to migrate TV signals asap.

2100 - seems all MNOs have some:

MyBB_002.jpg

2600 - there is still available to be allocated and they must order Sentech to return some!!!

MyBB_001.jpg
 
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Paul Hjul

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ICASA is totally right:

There is enough spectrum allocated to the MNOs to roll out LTE services. The 800 band is a luxury for the peasants of the rural areas and you can simply densify your operations in urban areas and continue doing what the MNOs are currently doing and refarm the spectrum that they have. Make that spectrum more valuable.
Manage demand I say. There is far to much focus on supply so lets manage demand, price things to match the anticipated explosion and it wont happen so there wont be a crisis - look at our wonderful electricity demand management skills.
I mean lets face it who doesn't want a situation where the market forces dictate that MNOs are all able to charge R500 per megabyte for mobile data which is available at great speeds in densely populated urban areas.

Maybe I should stop reading ANConomics
*dislodges tongue from cheek
 

Bern

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Methinks she requires educating regarding what certain frequencies can/cannot be used for...
It is actually scary how someone with so little understanding of something can be in charge of strategic national decisions on behalf of our country.

RPM that info used is not great,but probably good to get the point across along with the coverage maps. There are many other ways to improve coverage and capacity, many clever ways. This is perhaps what ICASA is getting at.

But look at it this way, MTN and VC refarmed spectrum with almost no loss in quality and capacity on GSM 1800, Cell c is using one of its WCDMA 2100 channels to push LTE, also without a loss of quality or capacity. This very easily illustrates ICASA's point, operators need to wake up and really start looking into better ways of maintaining quality. Yes there is a limit at which capacity will need to come from new sites and more spectrum,but the introduction of LTE by the big 3 in SA clearly shows where these operators are trying to take the easy way out. In my opinion this is what ICASA is trying to get across.

That said ICASA is also at fault, 800 Mhz spectrum needs to be released and some sort of multi-operator network needs to be put in place in order to provide rural broadband services. Analogue TV also needs to be turned off, there is a lot that is happening in the sub 900Mhz area and having the analogue TV switch off delayed is further stopping development in SA

Jannie this is limited for capacity, 800 is not going to help us in urban areas where capacity is key.

SteveO, are you delusional? Firstly there has been a marked decrease in quality on all of the networks, you will also probably be the first one to complain if they switch all the limited spectrum to LTE and your HSPA device can no longer connect. Then you forget that this is an industry heavily reliant on economies of scale, so letting a few small guys waste the prime spectrum as they do not have the resources to roll out nationally would be a bigger problem. We have four major networks, that is enough. The WISPs can use other frequency bands as they already are to great effect. ICASA could also reserve a little bit of spectrum for regional and local players. The optimisation of the technology will happen, it is a key method to gain market share, ICASA don't need to do anything more on this. All they need to do is actually let the current players use what is there and thus reduce operating cost per MHz of spectrum which will reduce the cost of data and voice as well as increase the footprint.

PS ICASA are definitely not referring to other clever ways to manage spectrum, how much support have they given cognitive radio initiatives exactly?
 
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dominic

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PS ICASA are definitely not referring to other clever ways to manage spectrum, how much support have they given cognitive radio initiatives exactly?

bit of a surprise there in that, while i think it is a little too early for cognitive radio, ICASA's strategic plan indicates that they aim to have a database managed spectrum framework by end May 2015 and they are being extremely supportive of the various TVWS trials
 

ebendl

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I find it sad to think that everybody used to say "mobile is the key to Africa's internet problems" a couple of years ago - considering that our fixed line options are so limited.

Now it turns out our mobile options are also going to be so limited...

I guess we can only say thank goodness that the MNO still have their spectrum - couple of years from now some spectrum farmer will pitch up and say that his ancestors have been farming that spectrum for 100's of years before the colonists arrived! ;)
 

Nessie

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These comments from ICASA are not surprising. They have to start the groundwork to justify their actions when they give the spectrum to their politically connected friends like Andile Ngcaba.
 

Bern

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bit of a surprise there in that, while i think it is a little too early for cognitive radio, ICASA's strategic plan indicates that they aim to have a database managed spectrum framework by end May 2015 and they are being extremely supportive of the various TVWS trials

Good to know they are waking up a little:)
 
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