ICASA to create more broadband spectrum
August 19, 2022
By Chris Forrester
ICASA, South Africa’s communications regulator, has started the process to make more spectrum available for the nation’s broadband demands.
Specifically, ICASA has published an “information memorandum” in the Government’s official gazette setting out its plans to initiate a “second phase” of spectrum licensing in the so-called “low and mid radio frequency bands”.
These radio bands, especially in the low frequencies, are generally referred to as wide coverage bands, while the mid- and high-frequency bands are used to provide faster progress to end users, although typically over smaller areas.
ICASA adds it is “soliciting views from interested stakeholders regarding the IMT (mobile broadband) radio frequency bands the authority intends to license during the second phase of the IMT licensing process”. Written representations must be furnished by no later than 19 September 2022.
There is also still capacity to be sold off. In its Phase 2, ICASA intends to sell the only lot of spectrum that was not auctioned off in March, namely “lot 9” in the 800MHz band, which had various conditions attached to it that resulted in bidders declining to bid in March.
ICASA also invites input from industry stakeholders about selling off various other frequencies.