ICASA Awards Provisional Spectrum To Vodacom, MTN, Telkom, Rain, Liquid

Through this provisional spectrum assignment arrangement and its related fees (for acquisition, spectrum usage and application), ICASA will in the short term raise about R200 million for the national fiscus.

ICASA
ICASA

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has concluded its analysis of applications for provisional assignment of radio frequency spectrum under the new ICT COVID-19 National State of Disaster Regulations, 2021, and resolved to grant licences to six electronic communications network operators.

The licences are valid for a period of seven months, commencing from 1 December 2021, and ending on 30 June 2022 – or three months after the termination of the National State of Disaster – whichever comes first.

By the closing date on 17 November 2021, the Authority had received 6 applications, from: Rain Networks, Vodacom, Cell C, Telkom, Liquid Intelligence Technologies, and MTN.

All the applications for provisional spectrum assignments were considered in accordance with the criteria and conditions stipulated in the ICT COVID-19 National State of Disaster Regulations.

The licences are issued in respect of radio frequency spectrum for the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2600 MHz and 3500 MHz bands.

Provisional assignments in the 700/800 MHz band

The Authority received four applications for provisional radio frequency spectrum assignment in the IMT700 band from: MTN, Telkom, Vodacom and Rain Networks.

Upon consideration of the applications, the following assignments of provisional spectrum were granted in the IMT700 MHz band:
1. MTN = 10 MHz;
2. Telkom = 20 MHz;
3. Vodacom = 10 MHz
4. Rain Networks = 20 MHz.

The Authority received five  applications for provisional radio frequency spectrum assignment in the IMT800 band from: MTN, Telkom, Vodacom, Rain Networks and Cell C.

Upon consideration of the applications, the following assignments of provisional spectrum were granted in the IMT800 band:
1. MTN = 10 MHz;
2. Telkom = 20 MHz;
3. Vodacom = 10 MHz;
4. Cell C = 20 MHz.

Since analogue and digital television broadcasting services still occupy parts of the 700 MHz and 800 MHz radio frequency bands, ICASA urges licensees to share and co-ordinate usage in these frequency bands through a geographic separation of International Mobile Telecommunication (IMT) Systems and Broadcasting Services in affected areas, and in accordance with the Terrestrial Broadcasting Frequency Plan, 2013, as published.
Provisional assignment in the 2300 MHz band

ICASA received only one application for provisional radio frequency spectrum assignment in the IMT2300 band, from Telkom.

To this end, Telkom was duly awarded 40 MHz of provisional spectrum in this band.
Provisional assignments in the 2600 MHz band

ICASA received five applications for provisional radio frequency spectrum assignment in the IMT2600 band from: Telkom, MTN, Vodacom, Rain Networks, and Cell C.

Upon consideration of the applications, the following assignments for provisional spectrum were granted in the IMT2600 band:
1. Telkom = 10 MHz;
2. MTN = 40 MHz;
3. Vodacom = 40 MHz;
4. Rain Networks = 60 MHz;
5. Cell C = 20 MHz.

Provisional assignments in the 3500 MHz band

The Authority received five applications for provisional RFS assignments in the IMT3500 band from: Telkom, MTN, Vodacom, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, Rain Networks and Cell C.

Upon consideration of the applications, the following assignments for provisional spectrum were granted in the IMT3500 band:
1. Telkom = 12 MHz;
2. MTN = 40 MHz;
3. Vodacom = 40 MHz;
4. Liquid Intelligent Technologies = 4 MHz;
5. Cell C = 20 MHz.

‘This provisional spectrum assignment remains an interim measure, intended to improve communication services for consumers in the intervening period, with the goal being to permanently license the spectrum through an auction commencing in March 2022. This provisional licensing phase attempts temporarily to address competition concerns and levy appropriate fees, but a more all-inclusive regime will be yielded through a competitive bidding approach, ‘ says Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng.Chairperson of ICASA.

All licensees will be required to pay a spectrum acquisition fee, as well as a spectrum usage fee, in addition to the up-front application fee.

Through this provisional spectrum assignment arrangement and its related fees (for acquisition, spectrum usage and application), ICASA will in the short term raise about R200 million for the national fiscus.

This provisional radio frequency spectrum regime is confirmation that the temporary spectrum issued in April 2020 ceases to exist on 30 November 2021, and that the provisional spectrum assignment arrangement becomes effective from 1 December 2021.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here