ICASA To Charge Telcos For COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Spectrum

4G and 5G Cell site
4G and 5G Cell site. KPhrom / sHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) announced today that it had approved the amendment of the ICT COVID-19 National State of Disaster Regulations to extend the validity period of the temporary assignment of the radio frequency spectrum.

In April, ICASA assigned a temporary emergency spectrum to telecommunications operators to ensure connectivity for all during the National State of Disaster period.

The regulator has extended the temporary emergency spectrum to telecommunications to no later than 31 March 2021.

The initial date within which the temporary spectrum was supposed to be returned to the Authority was 30 November 2020.

“The Council has also resolved that all licensees who have been assigned temporary spectrum and wish to continue using it for extended period (i.e. until 31 March 2021) will be required to pay the prescribed radio frequency spectrum licence fees,” ICASA said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

“We are aware that licensees generated and reported revenue growth during this period,” says ICASA Chairperson, Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng.

 

“We have therefore resolved that, in addition to fulfilment of the obligations imposed with the release of temporary spectrum, the extended use of spectrum must be at a fee as provided for in the amended regulations.”

The also reminded prospective applicants for the radio frequency spectrum for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), that the closing date remains 28 December 2020 at 16h00.

Also read: ICASA Assigns Emergency Spectrum

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