South African regulator the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has addressed submissions relating to an earlier Draft Radio Frequency Spectrum Assignment Plan with a new round of consultation. The authority had previously highlighted ten bands for public consultation in March last year.
In the light of submissions made by stakeholders, the Authority has determined that three of the ten bands require a further round of consultation. These bands have now been made public.
The three Second Draft Radio Frequency Spectrum Assignment Plans (RFSAPs), all of which are for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) systems, relate to the 450 MHz to 470 MHz band; the 825 MHz to 830 MHz and 870 MHz to 875 MHz bands; and the 1427 MHz to 1518 MHz band.
“It is in the interest of the sector to delay the finalisation of the three RFSAPs in question, and to engage in a second round of consultation to establish all the factors to be considered in order to ensure that the spectrum can be awarded to the most valuable user in the near future”, says Chairperson of the Council Committee Charley Lewis.
Explaining some of the issues that have caused the continued consultation, he adds: “Two of the bands in question have incumbents that have to be migrated, while most stakeholders argued for the third RFSAP to be extended to cover the full band.”
These assignment plans are aimed at identifying new high-demand spectrum that ICASA intends to make available for IMT services in the near future. ICASA claims that together, the ten RFSAPs will achieve a 215% increase in high-demand spectrum available for licensing through a competitive process.
Stakeholder representations must be made by no later than Monday, 06 March 2023 at 4pm.