The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) is preparing to publish the Invitation To Apply (ITA) for both the Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) and the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum.
While Icasa has made “extensive progress” in developing both ITAs following the analysis of the submissions on the Information Memorandum, the complexity of the process and the additional considerations required have slightly delayed their publication, said Icasa acting chairperson Advocate Dimakatso Qocha.
The two ITAs are being developed following the Ministerial Policy and Policy Directions directing Icasa to accept and consider applications for an individual electronic communications network service license and to urgently consider the licensing of a radio frequency spectrum license for a WOAN.
The authority was further directed to urgently consider the licensing of the high demand spectrum licences for unassigned high demand spectrum not reserved for assignment to the WOAN.
The ITA relating to the licensing of high demand spectrum will be published in accordance with the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations (RFSR) 2015, as amended, read with Section 31(3) of the Electronic Communications Act (ECA) 36 of 2005, and the ITA for the WOAN will be published in accordance Regulation 7 of the RFSR read with Section 9(2) of the ECA.
“Icasa believes that the licensing of high demand spectrum remains critical in facilitating the deployment of digital infrastructure for consumers and the business sector in their realisation of the digital economy, and participation towards the fourth industrial revolution,” said Qocha in a statement on July 2.
“The authority further recognises the need for effective deployment, uptake and use of information and communications technology, and global interconnectedness to speed up human interaction; and to bridge the digital divide among South Africans.”
“The Authority remains committed to its plans of releasing spectrum, that will see different sectors of the society benefitting, and participating meaningfully in the digital economy.
While no date has been tabled, Icasa said it is working earnestly to ensure that the processes are completed without undue delay.
“However, adherence to due administrative process, both substantively and procedurally, is more fundamental to these licensing processes,” Qocha conluded.