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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has promulgated seven final Radio Frequency Spectrum Assignment Plans for International Mobile Communications (IMT) high-demand spectrum, following an extensive notice and comment process

RAdioThese seven RFSAPs span “low” and “medium” frequencies between the ranges 700 MHz to 3 600 MHz. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

In each case, the requirements and channelling plans are aligned to South Africa’s National Radio Frequency Plan (RFSAP­) and globally harmonised. Further, each RFSAP sets out migration arrangements, coordination requirements and the method of assignment.

Some of the RFSAPs formalise the arrangements for the spectrum already assigned in the 2022 high-demand spectrum auction. Others identify new high-demand spectrum that the Authority intends to make available for IMT services in the near future.  Together, these RFSAPs will achieve a 215% increase in the high-demand spectrum available for licensing through a competitive process.

These seven RFSAPs span “low” and “medium” frequencies between the ranges 700 MHz to 3 600 MHz. The spectrum bands thus covered have now been earmarked for their highest value use as key enablers for the deployment of IMT technologies and services, including 4G, 5G and beyond.

The planned assignment of these bands to their highest-value users via a competitive auction process will provide an important stimulus to the further development and deployment of mobile services, to reducing the cost to communicate, to increasing universal access and service and to providing users with a wide range of value-added services.

The Authority will shortly engage in further consultations on three additional bands, namely:

“Finalising these Radio Frequency Spectrum Assignment Plans marks an important milestone in the allocation and assignment of high-demand spectrum for mobile communications services, applications and content,” commented committee chairperson Cllr Charley Lewis.  “The Authority is determined to push ahead with identifying and making available further spectrum as an important contribution to economic growth, job creation and social development.”