Communications regulator Icasa has received “about 35” applications for access to temporary high-demand spectrum, it said on Friday.
The authority invited applications this week for access to the spectrum after communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said government would move to open key spectrum bands to alleviate demand for broadband services during the country’s Covid-19 lockdown.
Icasa plans to temporarily license access to the 700MHz, 800MHz, 2.3GHz, 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz bands for temporary assignment for the entire period of the National State of Disaster.
These are the same bands that the regulator intends auctioning off to mobile operators later this year — the first time additional spectrum will have been made available since the 3G licensing process about 15 years ago.
“The authority would like to inform all stakeholders that it is currently applying its mind and analysing all applications to ensure compliance with the criteria and conditions stipulated in Annexure A of the regulations,” it said in a statement.
Icasa intends to “take the necessary care and ensure that the release of the spectrum for use on an emergency basis is fair and non-discriminatory”, it said, adding that it plans to announce its decisions within a week.
It did not say who had applied for the temporary spectrum. — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media