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South Africa prepares to license 5G spectrum, says regulator

Dimakatso Qocha ICASA.jpg

South Africa’s regulator is about to invite telcos to apply for spectrum to offer 5G services, replacing the temporary spectrum awarded in April.

Dimakatso Qocha (pictured), interim president of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), said the organisation is drafting an invitation to apply for spectrum in five separate bands, from 700MHz to 3.5GHz.

She said the licensing of ultra-high-speed telecoms spectrum is essential to facilitate the deployment of digital infrastructure, for consumers and the telecoms industry, in order to build the digital economy and take part in the fourth industrial revolution.

In April Icasa awarded temporary spectrum to MTN, Vodacom and Telkom for 5G services. In addition new mobile broadband operator Rain got 20MHz in the 2.6GHz band, and Liquid Telecom got 4MHz in the 3.5GHz band, in addition to the 56MHz the company already had in this band.

After that award, Vodacom switched on what it called Africa’s first live 5G network, supporting both mobile and fixed wireless services,  in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.  

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