Broadcast Regulation

South Africa’s Department Of Communications And ICT Stakeholders Discuss Licensing Of Spectrum

South Africa’s Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and her deputy, Pinky Kekana, recently met with stakeholders from the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) industry to conclude consultations on their interpretation of the spectrum licensing process as defined by the laws of the country.

This follows a written submission that was previously made by stakeholders in the industry on the matter.

According to news reports, the parties agreed that the spectrum policy directive and its licensing process should be finalised as soon as possible because this would help in moving the industry forward, as well as in enabling effective delivery of the Fourth Industrial Revolution imperatives that need wireless networks as connectivity enablers.

Ndabeni-Abrahams said that since the emergence of mobile broadband, spectrum had turned out to be both a competitive and also an anti-competitive tool for network operators as well as a barrier to entry for industry newcomers.

The Minister added that even though stakeholders may not agree on all aspects of the Electronic Communications Act (ECA), they should reach a mutual resolution that ensures that high demand spectrum is eventually licensed.

While all the parties seem to agree that resolving the allocation of high-capacity spectrum promptly is a priority, there still has been no confirmation of when precisely the said allocation will happen.

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