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Telecom regulator will have to glance into reducing value of 5G at public sale

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By Siphelele Dludla Time of article published 13h in the past

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JOHANNESBURG – World Wide Worx mentioned on Friday that the telecommunications regulator will have to glance into reducing the cost of the 5G frequency spectrum public sale in order that South Africa may revel in the most productive high quality web products and services.

In a learn about launched on Friday, World Wide Worx managing director Arthur Goldstuck mentioned communications provider suppliers had been unanimous {that a} excessive value for bidding on spectrum for high-speed cellular broadband may have an immediate affect at the high quality of the provider.

The World Wide Worx learn about was once according to interviews with the rustic’s 4 primary cellular community operators, and 21 web and communications provider suppliers.

Goldstuck mentioned amongst different issues they sought after to know was once the significance of cellular spectrum pricing in the longer term.

“Based on the research findings, it is evident that operators require expedited allocation of spectrum that holds the following characteristics: contiguous and not fragmented, reasonably priced, and not interfered with by other radio signals,” Goldstuck mentioned.

South Africa has a few of the costliest cellular information on this planet, score 148 out of 228 nations on the cost of cellular bandwidth.

In December, the Competition Commission ordered MTN and Vodacom to slash their cellular information costs by way of a median of 33percent after it discovered them to be prohibitively pricey.

The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) will factor a call for participation to use (ITA) for high-demand spectrum prior to September 30.

The public sale will now be held no later than March 31, 2021, 3 months later than the prior to now introduced December 2020 time limit.

Icasa chairperson Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng mentioned the regulator was once finalising the 2 ITAs for issuance with due attention of the ministerial coverage.

“Icasa has also completed a process to determine the fair economic value of the five spectrum bands that will be made available for auction and spectrum that will be made available to the Wireless Open Access Network, taking into consideration the current state of competition in the South African market,” Modimoeng mentioned.

The low value of auctioning the 5G spectrum may additional imply that information costs can be inexpensive for suffering shoppers.

The spectrum is because of be issued in 3 primary bands, specifically 700-800 MhZ previously used for analogue TV, and excessive frequency spectrum around the 2.3GHz to two.6GHz and three.5GHz bands.

Significant blocks of high-demand spectrum have no longer been issued to the key community operators by way of Icasa since 2005, when it allowed use of the two.1GHz band for the roll-out of 3G networks by way of Vodacom and MTN.

Cell C was once allotted spectrum in 2011, however since then operators have needed to “refarm” 3G spectrum to facilitate the roll-out of 4G to shoppers.

Goldstuck mentioned the public sale of spectrum would spice up the financial system, as 5G was once a key enabler of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

He mentioned the business believed that virtual migration will have to be prioritised with excessive urgency to maximize the usefulness an operator can get from their transient allocation. “Until then, deployments over this band segment will be hindered by quality of service issues,” Goldstuck mentioned.

The World Wide Worx learn about is consistent with the National Treasury’s financial restoration plan launched in August 2019, which steered the federal government to unencumber spectrum thru an public sale with a small set-aside for a government-controlled community.

BUSINESS REPORT



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