Telkom South Africa has confirmed that will return spectrum to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), as it migrates its legacy services to next generation technologies. Previously, in April this year the state-owned enterprise Sentech said it would return its 2600MHz and 3500MHz frequencies to the regulator as demand for spectrum escalates. BusinessTech.co.za quotes a Telkom representative as saying: ‘Telkom is continuously assessing the viability of legacy technologies which have reached their estimated useful life. In the case of wireless technologies, decisions in regard to the future use/or disposition of the frequency bands which they utilise is part of this process’.
The telco noted that it is currently licensed to use the 2400MHz band to provide fixed wireless access (FWA) services, chiefly in rural areas, and commented: ‘Whereas Telkom has identified these technologies for migration, such migration is complex due to, amongst others, lack of suitable sub-1GHz spectrum to be used in the rural areas. A portion of the 2400Mz band has been re-farmed for Telkom’s 2300MHz LTE network. Some parts of the 2400MHz band could eventually be returned to ICASA once migration has been completed’. Telkom added that migrating WiMAX from the 3500MHz band was a business decision, ‘and these services will be replaced with 3G/LTE or satellite’. Meanwhile, the telco stressed that it will not return spectrum in 1800MHz band.