Telecoms

Government to speed up spectrum allocation

Read time 1min 30sec
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Within the next few weeks, government will initiate the process for the allocation of high-demand radio spectrum to enable licensing.

So said president Cyril Ramaphosa this morning detailing government's economic stimulus and recovery plan.

"This will unlock significant value in the telecommunications sector, increase competition, promote investment and reduce data costs," Ramaphosa said.

"Lower data costs will also provide relief for poor households and increase the overall competitiveness of the South African economy."

Ramaphosa's pronouncements are hot on the heels of the message he delivered at the International Telecommunication Union Telecom World 2018 conference, stating that government had decided to accelerate the licensing of the radio frequency spectrum in the 2.6GHz, 700MHz and 800MHz bands to hasten the growth of mobile communications.

Mobile operators have been clamouring for spectrum for the last few years which they need to provide faster and more wide-spread high-speed data services.

During the State of the Nation Address in February, Ramaphosa stressed the importance of allocating spectrum to promote competition and reduce cost to consumers.

Government's stimulus and recovery plan outlines a range of measures, both financial and non-financial, that will be implemented immediately to firstly ignite economic activity, restore investor confidence, prevent further job losses and create new jobs, and to address some urgent challenges that affect the conditions faced by vulnerable groups.

These measures, he said, give priority to those areas of economic activity that will have the greatest impact on youth, women and small businesses.

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