1 November 2019
Pretoria – The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is publishing the Information Memorandum on the licensing process for the assignment of the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum or what is also referred to as high demand spectrum on 01 November 2019.
The licensing of high demand spectrum is one of the critical components to facilitate deployment of digital infrastructure to ensure that all consumers and the business environment participate meaningfully in future Information and Communications Technology (ICT) opportunities towards the digital economy.
ICASA 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 has considered the Policy Direction issued by the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies in July 2019, which consideration informs the Authority’s views outlined in the Information Memorandum.
The Information Memorandum further provides guidance to stakeholders and prospective applicants on the process and criteria to be applied by the Authority in the licensing of the spectrum.
“We invite all interested parties to take the opportunity and make submissions to this process. It is in the spirit of administrative justice and fairness that we consult stakeholders so that we can have their views on this imminent licensing process, says Dr. Keabetswe Modimoeng, ICASA Acting Chairperson.
The release of high demand spectrum is also an important step that gives effect to government’s policy objectives of ensuring broadband access for all, transformation of the ICT sector, reduction of costs to communicate (particularly data costs), promotion of competition in the ICT sector and stimulation of inclusive economic growth.
“It has been quite a lengthy period of time towards the assignment of high demand spectrum due to some or other challenges we faced as the regulator. However, with the release of the policy direction in the recent past, there is no justification to delay any further.”, concludes Dr. Modimoeng.
Interested persons are invited to make written submissions on the views expressed in the Information Memorandum by no later than 16h00 on Friday, 31 January 2020 as outlined in terms of the published Government Gazette. Given that the Information Memorandum is the initial step, and in light of the past delays in the assignment of spectrum, the Authority urges stakeholders to make their submissions within the stipulated deadline for submission of representations on the Information Memorandum.
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