Icasa publishes plans for three high-demand 4G and 5G bands

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has published three second-draft radio frequency assignment plans for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) systems.

This comes after the industry regulator published similar plans for seven IMT bands in December 2022.

Icasa said the purpose of publishing the plans is to solicit further public consultation.

“In the light of the submissions made by stakeholders, the Authority determined that three of the ten bands require a further round of consultation,” it said.

The three bands are:

“It is in the interest of the sector to delay the finalisation of the three Radio Frequency Spectrum Assignment Plans (RFSAPs) in question, and to engage in a second round of consultation to establish all the factors to be considered in order to ensure that the spectrum can be awarded to the most valuable user in the near future”, said Icasa council committee chair Charley Lewis.

“Two of the bands in question have incumbents that have to be migrated, while most stakeholders argued for the third RFSAP to be extended to cover the full band — hence the necessity for further consultation,” Lewis added.

Icasa explained that RFSAPs like these formalise the rules and spectrum arrangements for the spectrum in question.

These assignment plans are aimed at identifying new high-demand spectrum that the Authority intends to make available for IMT services (i.e. 4G, 5G, and beyond) in the near future.

Icasa said that together, the ten RFSAPs will achieve a 215% increase in high-demand spectrum available for licensing through a competitive process.

Stakeholder representations must be made by no later than Monday, 6 March 2023 at 16h00.

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Icasa publishes plans for three high-demand 4G and 5G bands