Sentech risks losing WiMAX spectrum

23 Jul 2008

South Africa’s telecoms regulator Icasa is threatening to impose a ‘use it or lose it’ policy on wireless spectrum which could see state-backed telco Sentech forced to give up a valuable chunk of 3.5GHz spectrum. Sentech has held the WiMAX-capable frequencies for some time but does not have the funds to deploy a network; the government has handed over ZAR500 million (USD70 million) in funding but says the firm must find other investors to pay the remaining ZAR2.5 billion that it will take to deploy a network. A report from website MyBroadband cites local operators which are complaining that government plans to offer licences which include just 20MHz of spectrum will not give them sufficient frequencies to offer wireless broadband services nationally. They claim that reclaiming the Sentech spectrum will free up additional bands for them to use.

South Africa, Sentech