South Africa ponders spectrum trading
September 9, 2022
By Chris Forrester
South Africa’s minister of communications Mrs Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has published the government’s draft proposals for trading of cellular frequency spectrum in the country.
The new proposals, which have been discussed for years, are contained in a draft ‘next-generation radio frequency spectrum’ policy document, which was published for public comment.
Linked to the suggestions are proposed timetables for the ending of 2G and 3G services with the government saying they should end by 2025.
The government’s comments say they want to see trading to help “effective and utilisation” of the spectrum. Moreover, the proposals say that spectrum which has been licensed but not put into service for 24 months will be subject to a “use it or lose it” rule.
The ideas in the government document talks of a significantly more commercial attitude and states that spectrum should be traded, shared and even sub-let between operators.
All of this will still be subject to approval by communications regulator ICASA. Its official statement said: “The regulator must set standard operating rules, and terms and conditions applicable for trading, sharing and subletting of spectrum. The spectrum holder must follow the rules, and terms and conditions, in consultation with the regulator.”