Icasa delays spectrum auction to March 2021

2020-09-04 04:12:00 PM

Icasa delays spectrum auction to March 2021

Icasa delays spectrum auction to March 2021

New radio frequency spectrum had been expected to have been allocated in December, but that has now been delayed

Mudiwa GavazaPicture: BLOOMBERG/SUSANA GONZALEZTelecommunications regulator the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) says it has had to delay the issuing of new spectrum to March 2021.Late on Thursday, Icasa said the invitation to apply (ITA) for both the wireless open access network (WOAN) and the international mobile telecommunications (IMT) spectrum, also known as high-demand spectrum, would be published “no later than 30 September 2020.”

Spectrum refers to the radio frequencies on which data and information are carried. Mobile operators have long argued that access to spectrum will help reduce the cost of mobile data in SA because it will allow the companies to cover a wider geographic area with existing towers while carrying more data traffic.

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04 September 2020 - 12:26 Mudiwa Gavaza Picture: BLOOMBERG/SUSANA GONZALEZ Telecommunications regulator the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) says it has had to delay the issuing of new spectrum to March 2021.22 hours ago Since mid-March 2020, the university has been devising plans about various scenarios to counter the affect of the Covid-19 pandemic, ensure the overall safety of students and staff, and provide learning opportunities to every student enrolled for the 2020 academic year.The university’s executive committee of Senate approved a revised academic calendar at the end of July, which will see the first semester conclude on September 23.By - 03 September 2020 - 16:47 Mthwalume activist Hlengiwe Gambushe was arrested in July for leading a march following a spate of killings in the area.

Late on Thursday, Icasa said the invitation to apply (ITA) for both the wireless open access network (WOAN) and the international mobile telecommunications (IMT) spectrum, also known as high-demand spectrum, would be published “no later than 30 September 2020.” Spectrum refers to the radio frequencies on which data and information are carried. Nelson Mandela University registrar Edgar de Koker said the calendar had been adjusted based on the institution’s blended-learning approach. Mobile operators have long argued that access to spectrum will help reduce the cost of mobile data in SA because it will allow the companies to cover a wider geographic area with existing towers while carrying more data traffic. Examinations and other end-of-module assessments, including re-examinations, will take place in late January and February 2021, with the new academic year beginning in March 2021. SA’s last big set of spectrum was allocated in 2004 and 2005, enabling Vodacom and MTN to roll out their 3G networks. “This revised academic calendar must be taken as a broad framework for faculties and academic departments to work within. Cell C followed in 2011. People are being killed in such a gruesome manner and I was just trying to make noise about it.

New spectrum had been slated to be allocated in December 2020, but t he ITA for the auction, expected to have been issued back in July was delayed. To enable this, students with device and connectivity challenges will be able to access general and specialised computer labs and Wi-Fi zones when they return to campus. Nelson Mandela University registrar Edgar de Koker said the calendar had been adjusted based on the institution’s blended-learning approach. Icasa said the delay was due, in part, to the emergency spectrum allocation given by the government to allow network operators to cope with increased communications demand due to Covid-19 and lockdowns. Additionally, the authority had been finalising terms around how the WOAN would work, and the government had still been appointing new councillors — a process recently concluded. Only some revision tutorials, tests and exams may be held face-to-face in Covid-19 compliant venues. “In light of the time lost as a result of the delay in the issuing of the ITAs, the auction of the high-demand spectrum, which was originally contemplated to take place during December 2020, will be completed by no later than March 31 2021,” said the authority.”. Icasa says it will issue an invitation to network operators to take part in the long awaited auction by the end of September. Applications for 2021 enrolment have been coming in since the online platform opened in April 2020, with more than 45,000 applications received for next year, the university said. Gambushe, the only person arrested, said she had agreed to lead the march because she was tired of seeing the area she grew up in being turned into a dumping ground for women.

A glimmer of hope for new spectrum came about earlier in 2020 as the government issued additional temporary allocation to operators such as MTN, Telkom, Vodacom, Rain and Liquid Telecom in the hopes of coping with increased communications demand because of Covid-19. Vodacom and MTN have already used this to launch commercial 5G services. “To date, 11,438 local and 326 international acceptance offers have been made to prospective students. The ITA is also important because it would give industry players guidance on prices for the auction, which still remain unclear. A previous ITA was scrapped in 2018 after squabbles between the regulator and minister of telecommunications and postal services Siyabonga Cwele. — HeraldLIVE. That ITA did indicate that a minimum bidding price at auction would be about R3bn. Her lawyer Lourens de Klerk told TimesLIVE on Thursday that the matter had been postponed to September 29.

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