Last year, it was reported that the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) issued several notices about proposed changes to radio frequency assignments.

The notices included a draft amendment to the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations, eight proposed changes and seven final modifications to the Radio Frequency Spectrum Assignment Plan.

Recall that on 15 December 2022, the regulator suggested expanding the wireless capacity available for Wi-Fi in South Africa. It stated, “The Authority is proposing the incorporation of the key lower 6 GHz band (5925 – 6425 MHz) and the 122 – 246 GHz band for Non-Specific Short-range Applications.”

According to the regulator, no radio frequency licence would be needed to use these frequencies.

“This will provide a much-needed boost for Wi-Fi availability and uptake and is expected to enable faster data communications between devices connected to wireless infrastructure, reduce latency, and improve efficiency and data throughput,” Icasa said.

Icasa explained that the lower 6 GHz band is emerging worldwide as a critical component in broadband rollout and uptake, providing an essential local loop component to support fibre or fixed wireless access (FWA) backhaul and Wi-Fi deployment.

The regulator gave stakeholders until 30 January 2023 to submit this proposal.

On 19 and 20 December, Icasa promulgated the spectrum assignment plans for seven different IMT (4G, 5G, and beyond) frequency bands:

703–733 MHz and 758–788 MHz (IMT700)
733–758 MHz (IMT750)
791–821 MHz and 832–862 MHz (IMT800)
880–915 MHz and 925–960 MHz (IMT900)
2300–2400 MHz (IMT2300)
3300–3400 MHz (IMT3300)
3400–3600 MHz (IMT3500)

Icasa said it would soon begin further consultations on three additional bands.

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