Spectrum trading to be allowed under new telecoms bill

3 Sep 2018

The South African government is poised to liberalise radio frequency spectrum in South Africa, allowing the free trading of spectrum assignments, subject to regulatory conditions, TechCentral writes. The latest draft of the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill, to be submitted to parliament for debate this week, proposes that spectrum licences can be traded, subject to approval from telecoms regulator ICASA. The amended bill does not prescribe limits, and appears to include spectrum suitable for deploying mobile telecoms networks, including mobile broadband. According to the latest version of the bill, ICASA must prescribe spectrum trading regulations within twelve months of the enactment of the legislation; these include the criteria and conditions for trading spectrum assets. The new bill also allows for operators to share spectrum, subject to various conditions.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month the cabinet approved an amended version of the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill, thus paving the way for the allocation of LTE-suitable spectrum and providing the framework for the licensing of a wholesale open access network (WOAN) operator. The bill will be released to the public after consultation with the regulator ICASA.