Govt moves to finalise spectrum allocation

Friday, March 29, 2019

Government says it’s moving towards finalising the policy directive on radio frequency spectrum allocation.

This finalisation gives effect to the 2019 State of the Nation Address (SONA) in which President Cyril Ramaphosa designated the Minister of Communications to issue a policy direction to Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) for the licensing of high demand radio frequency spectrum.

This was reiterated in the Budget Speech by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, who further mentioned that “this includes resourcing ICASA for this mandate”.

To this end, Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has extensively engaged ICASA with regards to the aforementioned policy directive, her Ministry said on Thursday.

Further, and to ensure that the regulator is adequately resourced to effectively conduct the spectrum licencing process once the policy directive is issued, the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has reprioritised its finances and transferred R10 million to ICASA.

The Ministry said these funds will provide for the requisite additional human and financial resources that will be borne by the regulator.

To ensure an inclusive approach, Ndabeni-Abrahams has invited sector stakeholders to provide written submissions on their interpretation of the definition of the spectrum licencing process.

A meeting with the stakeholders is scheduled for 2 April to further deliberate on the submissions and finalise the consultations.

This move and plans by government will fast-track 4G spectrum assignment, which operators have been waiting for many years. It will also help transform the sector by attracting new investments while also hastening the growth of mobile communications in the country.

The Ministry of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services – in collaboration with other government departments will conduct the Second Annual Youth Walk into Economic Opportunities Exposition.

The exposition is scheduled for 13 April in Ntabankulu Local Municipality in the Alfred Nzo District in the Eastern Cape.

The freedom youth walk, in commemoration of 25 years of freedom, aims to expose youth, unemployed and entrepreneurs into an array of academic, career and business opportunities available in the public and private sector. –