Delays in licensing spectrum for 5G and WOAN in South Africa

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is preparing to publish invitations to apply for the licensing of South Africa’s Wireless Open Access Network and high-demand radio frequency spectrum.

In a statement issued on Thursday, ICASA said that the invitations to apply (ITAs) will be published in line with its strategic objectives, and as confirmed recently during its appearance in Parliament.

ICASA said that the two ITAs are being developed following Ministerial Policy Directions.

While extensive progress has been made, ICASA said that given the complexity of the process, there are additional considerations it must apply itself to.

“This has resulted in the Authority having slightly delayed the publication of the ITAs,” said ICASA acting chairperson Dimakatso Qocha.

“The Authority remains committed to its plans of releasing spectrum that will see different sectors of the society benefiting, and participating meaningfully in the digital economy,” Qocha stated.

“This, we are doing, in order to ensure business development, promote investment, stimulate economic growth, and indeed promote good quality broadband services, as well as enable licensees to lower cost of communications in South Africa.”

ICASA said that it believes that the licensing of high demand spectrum remains critical in facilitating the deployment of digital infrastructure for consumers and the business sector in their realisation of the digital economy, and participation towards the fourth industrial revolution.

“The Authority further recognizes the need for effective deployment, uptake and use of information and communications technology, and global interconnectedness to speed up human interaction; and to bridge the digital divide among South Africans,” ICASA said.

“The Authority would, therefore, like to assure all stakeholders that it is working earnestly to ensure that the processes are completed without undue delay. However, adherence to the due administrative process, both substantively and procedurally, is more fundamental to these licensing processes.”

Now read: The plan for 4G and 5G spectrum in South Africa

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Delays in licensing spectrum for 5G and WOAN in South Africa