On 17 August 2022, the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA), published an Information Memorandum notifying the public of its intention to introduce the second phase of the country’s licensing process to make available Radio Frequency Spectrum to provide Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Services in the low and mid International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) Radio Frequency Bands.
The intention of the Information Memorandum is to invite interested stakeholders to share their views regarding the radio frequency bands that ICASA will licence during the second phase of its IMT licensing process. The objectives of this second phase are to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to increase nationwide broadband access for all South African citizens by 2025, and to achieve South Africa’s Connect targets beyond the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Networks.
This development comes in the wake of a successful spectrum auction concluded in March 2022, after an extended delay. This resulted in mobile operators having to build more towers and infrastructure to cover long distances, which in turn has caused an increase in data costs. The lower bands of spectrum which the Information Memorandum refers to are typically those that advance coverage, rather than quicker speeds for existing users.
It is hoped that this second phase of spectrum licensing will provide additional capacity to align with the growing demand in mobile services.
The deadline for written submissions to ICASA is Monday 19 September 2022 at 16h00.
Written submissions or enquires can be made to Mr Kgosimolao Moshweunyane at 012 568 3497 / [email protected].
The Information Memorandum can be accessed here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].