Ahead of publication of the Competition Commission’s final report flowing from its inquiry in the data services market, expected later on Monday, TechCentral republishes this column from editor Duncan McLeod.
Telecommunications and technology advisory firm BMIT has warned that South Africa faces complex choices and trade-offs in reaching decisions regarding the awarding of new spectrum licences.
The Competition Commission plans to engage with Icasa on the planned licensing of 4G/LTE and future 5G spectrum to ensure there is “not only universal coverage but also (affordable) access”.
Released five years after Icasa tried to license access to the spectrum for broadband services, the final policy is not dissimilar to what the communications regulator originally intended.
Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has asked Icasa to ensure that preferential access to spectrum is given to a new wholesale open-access network while opening the way for spectrum to be released to commercial operators.
Ah, that old trope, “market failure”. Economic development minister Ebrahim Patel trotted it out several times this week while unveiling the Competition Commission’s provisional findings into the data service market.