The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has published three second-draft radio frequency assignment plans for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) systems.

Icasa said publishing the plans is to solicit further public consultation after the industry regulator published similar plans for seven IMT bands in December 2022.

“In the light of the submissions made by stakeholders, the Authority determined that three of the ten bands require a further round of consultation,” Icasa said.

The three bands are:
450 MHz to 470 MHz
825 MHz to 830 MHz and 870 MHz to 875 MHz
1427 MHz to 1518 MHz

Icasa council committee chair Charley Lewis said, “It is in the interest of the sector to delay the finalisation of the three Radio Frequency Spectrum Assignment Plans (RFSAPs) in question and to engage in a second round of consultation to establish all the factors to be considered to ensure that the spectrum can be awarded to the most valuable user in the near future”.

“Two of the bands in question have incumbents that have to be migrated, while most stakeholders argued for the third RFSAP to be extended to cover the full band — hence the necessity for further consultation,” Lewis added.

Icasa explained that RFSAPs like these formalise the rules and spectrum arrangements for the spectrum in question.

These assignment plans aim to identify a new high-demand spectrum that the Authority intends to make available for IMT services (i.e. 4G, 5G, and beyond) soon.

Icasa said that together, the ten RFSAPs would achieve a 215% increase in the high-demand spectrum available for licensing through a competitive process.

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