Jamie McKane, 19 February 2021
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has issued a moratorium on spectrum assignments in the 3.6GHz – 3.8GHz band, effectively locking out new applicants for acquiring spectrum in this band.
The primary fixed wireless access (FWA) operator in this band is Rain, as it uses its tranche of spectrum in this band to operate its 5G home Wi-Fi products.
In its moratorium, ICASA noted that these 5G operations were causing harmful interference with transmissions from satellites that operate in the same spectrum band.
The authority said the “continued licensing of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) in the band will exacerbate harmful interference experienced by primary services in the band”.
A number of other bands were also included in the moratorium, although for different reasons – these bands have been identified for the implementation of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) systems.
The full list of spectrum bands affected by the moratorium is shown below:
- 3.6GHz – 3.8GHz
- 4.8GHz – 4.99GHz
- 24.25GHz – 27.5GHz
- 37GHz – 43.5GHz
- 45.5GHz – 47GHz
- 47.2GHz – 48.2GHz
- 66GHz – 71GHz