After years-long delays, the now-urgent final policy directive on spectrum allocation is expected to be issued by the end of April, Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams reiterated this week.
Following an information and communications technology industry engagement earlier this week over the spectrum licensing process, she said the meeting had aimed to deliberate and finalise consultations on their interpretation of the spectrum licensing process as defined by the law.
“While stakeholders might not agree on all aspects as contained in the Electronic Communications Act, they must strive to find consensus that ensures that high demand spectrum is eventually licensed,” she said.
This follows on the written submissions previously made by the sector on the spectrum policy.
“Some spectrum lies unused or underused in time or space and we would like to change that by making sure that spectrum is effectively and efficiently licensed in order to address not only revenue generation, but to also ensure inclusive participation,” Ndabeni-Abrahams added.
The licensing of high-demand spectrum is deemed necessary to lessen resource constraints experienced by incumbent mobile operators, enable transformation of a historically vertically integrated market, level the playing field and enable new entrants into the market.
Further, it will contribute to reducing the cost to communicate and drive universal services and access.
However, common ground should be reached between the policymaker and regulator to ensure that the process is concluded and spectrum is allocated timeously, she concluded.