Spectrum must be used to slash data prices – Competition Commission

The Competition Commission has released a statement regarding the recently-gazetted policy on high-demand spectrum and the directive on the licensing of the Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN).

The Commission said it welcomed the importance placed on the licensing of spectrum, as it is a scarce resource, adding that it should be employed to deliver lower mobile data costs to South African consumers.

“At a time when public finances are under such pressure, it is tempting to try maximise revenues by simply auctioning spectrum to the highest bidder.”

“However, as the Data Market Inquiry provisional recommendations counselled, such short-term thinking would deny South Africa a unique opportunity to bring about lower data costs both now and in the future,” the Commission added.

The Commission said it would be involved in the allocation of spectrum to ensure that the process allows for coverage in addition to improved access.

“High demand spectrum is a scarce national resource and its allocation should be done in a manner which ultimately benefits the citizens of the country,” the Commission said.

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Spectrum must be used to slash data prices – Competition Commission