ICASA draft regulations to allow ‘spectrum trading’

26 Oct 2010

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA) recently released draft spectrum regulations reportedly include conditions regarding so-called ‘spectrum trading’, under which companies will be able to lease spectrum that they have previously been allocated, as long as they do not lease it for more than the amount they originally paid for it. It is unclear whether the new legislation will have any impact on the country’s long-delayed spectrum allocation process. In an interview with TechCentral, Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) general manager Mark Brooks said urged ICASA not to allow the new draft regulations to delay the initiation of a long-rumoured spectrum assignment, adding: ‘We are deeply disappointed with the lengthy and flawed process that ICASA has followed to date for spectrum assignment in this critical band. It is dispiriting for the industry when a critical regulatory process takes four years to come to fruition, only for the regulator to admit that its process was flawed in the first place’. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in July 2010 ICASA withdrew its offer for telcos to apply for spectrum licences in the 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz bands, citing a lack of regulatory clarification.