What the 5G spectrum delay means for cellular networks

The Unbiased Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is getting ready to publish invites to use for the licensing high-demand radio frequency spectrum.

Whereas progress has been made, ICASA appearing chairperson Dimakatso Qocha mentioned there was a slight delay within the publications of the ITAs.


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“The Authority stays dedicated to its plans of releasing spectrum that may see completely different sectors of the society benefiting, and taking part meaningfully within the digital financial system,” Qocha mentioned.

“The Authority additional acknowledges the necessity for efficient deployment, uptake and use of data and communications know-how, and international interconnectedness to hurry up human interplay; and to bridge the digital divide amongst South Africans,” ICASA added.

“The Authority would, due to this fact, wish to guarantee all stakeholders that it’s working earnestly to make sure that the processes are accomplished with out undue delay.”

“Nonetheless, adherence to the due administrative course of, each substantively and procedurally, is extra elementary to those licensing processes,” ICASA mentioned.

There have been loads of delays to the licensing of high-demand spectrum over the previous few years, which means ICASA’s affirmation of delays within the course of could also be met with trepidation by many within the business.

For that reason, MyBroadband requested the related cellular networks what the delay means for his or her companies.


Vodacom mentioned that it stays hopeful that there is not going to be a niche between the expiration of non permanent spectrum and the licensing of everlasting spectrum.

“Extra spectrum is critical for us to proceed to assist the rise in visitors which we’ve skilled through the state of nationwide catastrophe lockdown,” mentioned Vodacom.

“The allocation of latest spectrum will assist Vodacom to cut back enter prices, particularly for offering information companies.

“It’s going to assist us to extend community capability extra effectively, optimise our community funding and assist us to additional cut back information prices in future,” mentioned Vodacom.

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MTN mentioned it was unsure whether or not the delay of the ITA means the licensing of spectrum will comply with go well with.

“Whereas the anticipated launch of the ITA has been barely delayed, it’s but to be decided whether or not this may end in a delay in licensing everlasting spectrum or merely a decreased timeframe for the ITA course of,” mentioned MTN.

“MTN has been assigned non permanent spectrum till the 30th of November and we imagine the licencing of spectrum will comply with quickly after.”

“MTN believes that the licensing of excessive demand spectrum stays essential in easing the deployment of digital infrastructure to South Africans to supply all our individuals with entry to the financial system and to bridge the digital divide that’s at the moment so huge between the haves and ‘have-nots’,” mentioned MTN.

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Telkom mentioned that the proposed auctioning of excessive demand spectrum is lengthy overdue, and is supported by Telkom.

“What’s crucial, nonetheless, is that ICASA makes use of this public sale to handle the focus within the cellular market which hampers efficient competitors as recognized by each ICASA and the Competitors Fee,” mentioned Telkom.

“A correctly designed public sale may end in simpler competitors.”

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Now learn: Greatest pay as you go cellular information costs in South Africa