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Policy Directive on Spectrum Allocation on Ice

May 3, 2019

Department of Communications

3 May 2019

The communications minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, has decided to hold off on issuing the final policy directive on high demand spectrum allocation.

At the beginning of April 2019, the telecommunications and postal services department had announced, in a statement, that the policy directive would be issued by the end of the month.

In the latest statement, however, the department indicated that following extensive consultations, the minister “deems it necessary to hold the Policy Direction on Unassigned High Demand Spectrum in abeyance for consideration in the sixth administration”.

In an earlier statement, the department declared that the licensing of high-demand spectrum is “deemed necessary to lessen resource constraints experienced by incumbent mobile operators, enable transformation of a historically vertically integrated market, level the playing field and enable new entrants into the market. Further, it will contribute to reducing the cost to communicate and drive universal services and access”.

At the time, following a meeting with the Information and Communication Technology industry, government had indicated that it wanted to ensure that spectrum is effectively and efficiently licensed in order to drive revenue generation and ensure inclusive participation in the ICT sector.