Communications and Digital Technologies Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, has welcomed the announcement of dates for the release of the spectrum by the telecoms regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).
This comes after the authority on Wednesday issued an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for both Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) and the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum, also known as the high demand spectrum.
“These processes had a slight delay, but we are confident that the announcement will bring much-needed certainty to the industry,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams in a statement.
Her Ministry said the issuance of the two ITAs is in line with the Ministerial Policy Directions and Section 3(4) of the Electronic Communications Act. In terms of the aforementioned Policy Directions, the Authority was directed to issue an ITA, accept and consider applications for an individual electronic communications network service (I-ECNS) license, and to urgently consider the licensing of a radio frequency spectrum license for a WOAN.
“We are encouraged by the imposition of empowerment obligations on the WOAN. This serves to further the empowerment considerations of the country and will assist the sector to achieve the sector’s transformation agenda and facilitate new entrants, while also raising revenue for the fiscus. The release of the spectrum is also critically important to support efforts aimed at bridging the digital divide and connect the unconnected,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams. – SAnews.gov.za