The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) announced that it will publish an information memorandum on 1 November regarding the process to assign radio frequency spectrum used by cellular networks.
South Africa’s mobile networks operators have long been asking for the industry regulator and Ministry of Communication to move forward with the licensing of spectrum for use in 4G and 5G networks.
ICASA previously stated that the memorandum will outline its approach to the licensing of radio frequency spectrum. It will also provide guidance on the criteria that it will apply in the licensing of the spectrum.
This follows the Department of Communication’s publication of the Policy on High Demand Spectrum and Policy Direction on the Licensing of a Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN). Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams published the policy direction in July 2019.
ICASA said that its views were informed by the Minister’s policy direction.
“We invite all interested parties to take the opportunity and make submissions to this process. It is in the spirit of administrative justice and fairness that we consult stakeholders so that we can have their views on this imminent licensing process,” said the acting chairperson of ICASA, Keabetswe Modimoeng.
“It has been quite a lengthy period of time towards the assignment of high demand spectrum due to some or other challenges we faced as the regulator. However, with the release of the policy direction in the recent past, there is no justification to delay any further.”
Those interested in commenting on ICASA’s views expressed in the information memorandum will be able to submit written feedback until 31 January 2020.