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Africa|Business|Innovation|Safety|Services|Wireless
Africa|Business|Innovation|Safety|Services|Wireless
africa|business|innovation|safety|services|wireless

Icasa releases more spectrum for WiFi services in the lower 6 GHz band

23rd May 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has opened up the lower 6 GHz, which is the radio frequency range of 5 925 MHz to 6 425 MHz spectrum band, for the provision of WiFi services.

This followed an Amendment to Annexure B of Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations, 2015, in respect of Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence Exemptions, which consists of a list of radio apparatus, the use or possession of which does not require a radio frequency spectrum licence, which Icasa published on Tuesday.

“The authority has now incorporated the key lower 6 GHz frequency band, from 5 925 MHz to 6 425 MHz, for radio local access networks (RLAN/WiFi) applications and the frequency band 122 GHz to 246 GHz for non-specific short-range applications,” said Icasa committee chairperson Councillor Peter Zimri.

“The lower 6 GHz frequency band is rapidly emerging worldwide as a key component in broadband rollout and its uptake, providing an essential local loop component to support fibre, fixed wireless access, television whitespace and satellite backhaul.”

The introduction of the lower 6 GHz frequency band for the deployment of WiFi services will support South Africa’s national broadband strategy, with the aim of enabling socioeconomic growth and development.

Among the benefits is the provision of a much-needed boost for RLANs and for the uptake of WiFi services, as well as support for more simultaneous connections, reduced latency, faster data speeds and less interference, particularly in potential congested high-density areas and campus environments.

“Overall, the implementation of the lower 6 GHz frequency band is expected to provide significant improvements, more robust and reliable wireless communications and an enhanced user experience for both the consumers and businesses throughout the country,” Icasa noted.

It will also support the growth of the digital economy and help to address the digital divide by providing better, more reliable and affordable connectivity to community access networks in underserved and remote areas, further driving innovation and development in the wireless industry.

While a radio frequency spectrum licence is not required, the relevant regulatory requirements, such as the radio apparatus type-approval and the mandatory electromagnetic compatibility and safety requirement for the relevant application type, will continue to apply.

“The authority will work closely with industry stakeholders to ensure compliance with these regulations and to protect the interests of business and consumers.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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