Advanced Television

ICASA frees up spectrum for WiFi

December 20, 2022

By Chris Forrester

South Africa’s media and broadcast regulator ICASA wants to make additional radio frequency spectrum available for WiFi broadband.

ICASA is proposing an amendment to current regulations and has issued a draft amendment for stakeholder comments.

The key proposal states: “The authority is proposing the incorporation of the key lower 6GHz band (5.925MHz to 6.425MHz) as well as the 122GHz to 246GHz band for non-specific short-range applications. This will provide a much-needed boost for Wi-Fi availability and uptake, and is expected to enable faster data communications between devices connected to wireless infrastructure, reduce latency, and improve efficiency and data throughput. The decision to update the regulations is necessitated by the need to keep the provisions of the regulations current with the existing and emerging technologies aimed at revolutionising the electronic communications sector.”

ICASA added that the lower 6GHz band is “rapidly emerging worldwide as a key component in broadband roll-out and uptake, providing an essential local-loop component to support fibre or fixed-wireless access backhaul and WiFi deployment”.

There has already been extensive lobbying from industry players towards the opening up of 6 GHz spectrum.

Interested parties have until January 30th to make their submissions.

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