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ICASA to outline spectrum allocation approach by year end

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Acting ICASA chairman Keabetswe Modimoeng.
Acting ICASA chairman Keabetswe Modimoeng.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) will, before the end of the third quarter of the fiscal year 2019/2020 (31 December 2019), publish the information memorandum on the licensing process for the international mobile telecommunications (IMT) spectrum, also referred to as high-demand spectrum.

The information memorandum outlines the authority’s approach on the licensing of the spectrum following the publication of the policy on high demand spectrum and policy direction on the licensing of a wireless open access network by the minister of communications and digital technologies.

In a statement, ICASA says it is enjoined in terms of section 3(4) of the Electronic Communications Act, 2005 to consider policies and policy directions issued by the minister.

To this end, the authority is considering the policy direction, which consideration will inform the authority’s position to be outlined in the information memorandum.

The regulator says the information memorandum is also intended to provide guidance to stakeholders and prospective applicants on the process and criteria to be applied by the authority in the licensing of the spectrum.

“Through the publication of the information memorandum, the authority further provides an opportunity to stakeholders and prospective applicants alike to make inputs and representations on the proposed licensing process, associated criteria and timelines”, says Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, ICASA acting chairperson.

According to ICASA, the publication of the information memorandum is an important step in the licensing process for the ultimate release of the high-demand spectrum in order to give effect to government’s policy objectives of ensuring broadband access for all, transformation of the ICT sector, lower data costs, promote competition and ensure inclusive economic growth.

“The licensing of high-demand spectrum is one of the critical components to facilitate deployment of digital infrastructure to ensure that all South Africans realise and participate meaningfully in the opportunities emanating from the fourth industrial revolution," Modimoeng says.

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