Use it or lose it

18 Mar 2008

South Africa’s telecoms regulator ICASA is considering introducing a ‘use it or lose it’ policy for wireless spectrum. Several players have requested a change in legislation which would force spectrum owners to use their frequencies or risk having their licences revoked. Start-up firms eager to grab valuable spectrum to deploy wireless broadband networks using technology such as WiMAX say licensees which fail to deploy commercial networks are wasting a valuable resource. ICASA Chairman Paris Mashile said that the regulator is definitely considering a ‘use it or lose it’ policy on spectrum as some operators may simply ‘sit’ on spectrum and therefore not pass the benefits of this resource on to South Africans, MyBroadband reports. One company which has come in for criticism is state-owned Sentech, which holds licences in the 2.5GHz band which are ideally suited for WiMAX.