Plan rolled out to cope with high internet demand

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on Wednesday outlined a framework for licensing of high demand spectrum for broadband.

The framework has been set to facilitate the introduction of new national and rural providers of electronic communications, including broadband, Icasa councillor Dr Marcia Socikwa said.

It also looks to ensure that the participating licensees contribute to broad based black economic empowerment.

She said the 800 band, which has replaced the 3.5 GHz in the Icasa plans, has been harmonised in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region with the channel arrangements adopted as part of the SADC Band Plan.

“By pairing 2.6 GHz and 800MHz in a combined licensing process the authority hopes new entrants will address wireless broadband access in both urban and rural areas,” she said.

“The authority also seeks to move away from traditional win-lose licensing methods and is considering using new licensing methods that encourage sharing such as open access models and spectrum parks to maximise the number of new entrants in the sector.”

Socikwa said the release of the spectrum at this juncture will ensure that, among other benefits, higher speed broadband for consumers, lower unit cost of providing mobile broadband and improved delivery of broadband to rural areas.—Sapa

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