South Africa issues 4G/5G spectrum

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South Africa’s regulator, ICASA, has issued a fresh set of licences for 4G and 5G broadband expansion. The move was expected and comes ahead of a new auction of spectrum scheduled for Q1/2022.

The issue of this temporary spectrum was made in response to legal threats from the cellular industry which is hard pressed to manage demand for bandwidth from citizens working from home.

“In framing the current Invitation To Apply [for new licences], the authority has considered the issues raised by stakeholders in their challenge to the previous licensing processes (particularly the 2020 ITA), as well as the representations received to the first and second Information Memorandums (IMs),” ICASA said in a statement.

ICASA added: “These provisions are designed to facilitate the entry of new players into the market, and to promote consumer welfare through access to high-quality communication services at affordable and competitive prices.”

The ICASA intention is to use current spectrum being used for analogue TV broadcasting (and some digital frequencies) for its auction.


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