[18 August 2020] ICASA has published a notice advising that the Regulations on the Use of Television White Spaces, 2018 (“the Regulations”), published on 23 March 2018 will come into force on 1 April 2021.

Notice regarding the commencement date of the regulations on the use of television white spaces 2018

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[20 July 2020] The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has put together a useful infographic related to the use television white spaces (TVWS) in South Africa:

Infographic: Solving broadband access for SA with TV white spaces [source]

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[8 June 2020] With the publication on 5 June 2020 of the Framework to Qualify to Operate a Secondary Geo-Location Spectrum Database Regulations, 2020, ICASA has effectively completed the regulatory framework governing the use of television white spaces (TVWS) in South Africa.

Framework to Qualify to Operate a Secondary TVWS Database Regulations 2020

The Regulations came into force on 5 June 2020.

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[22 February 2020] A notice has been published requesting commentary on a framework governing applications to ICASA to operate a secondary geolocation spectrum database which will enable the use of television white spaces in South Africa. ICASA itself will host and maintain the primary database showing where “white spaces” can be accessed nationally, with secondary database operators using this to offer services to commercial operators.

Notice inviting Comments regarding the Draft Framework to Qualify to Operate a Secondary Geo-Location Spectrum Database

The closing date for submissions is 16h00 on 3 March 2020 and these can be sent to Ms Pumla Ntshalintshali per email pntshalintshali@icasa.org.za.

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[9 October 2018] ICASA has issued a tender invitation to higher learning and research institutions to submit proposals on the development, implementation, hosting and management of the Reference Geo-Location Spectrum Database (R-GLSD) at the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to enable the implementation of the Television White Spaces Regulations. Closing date is 23 October 2018.

Bid Document: Geo-Location Spectrum Database

Geo-Location Spectrum Database (Ann A)

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[23 March 2018] ICASA has published final regulations relating to the use of television white spaces in South Africa.

Regulations on Use of TVWS 23 March 2018

The regulations will come into force on a future date to be proclaimed. This is to allow ICASA to proceed with implementing the geolocation database infrastructure required.

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[20 April 2017] We have put together an overview and update document pertaining to Dynamic Spectrum Assignment and Television White Spaces in South Africa, which can be found at the link below.

Status update on the use of Dynamic Spectrum Assignment and Television White Spaces in South Africa

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[10 April 2017] ICASA has moved this process forward through the publication of a Position Paper and a set of draft regulations to govern use of television white spaces (TVWS).

Draft Regulations on the use of Television White Spaces

Position Paper on Dynamic and Opportunistic Spectrum Management

Submissions are due by 16H00 on 19 May 2017 and should be submitted to Mr Manyaapelo Richard Makgotlho, per e-mail: rmakgotlho@icasa.org.za.

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[28 October 2016] There is hope for some renewed impetus in the regulatory process around dynamic spectrum access in South Africa.

The new spectrum policy forming part of the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper offers some support for dynamic spectrum access:

Dynamic spectrum access, which is in its early stages of development, is an advanced and opportunistic approach to spectrum management that is closely related to other management techniques such as flexible spectrum management and spectrum trading. According to the World Bank and ITU, it involves utilising spectrum “in terms of time slots and/or geographically. This allows users to access a particular piece of spectrum for a defined time-period or in a defined area which they cannot exceed without re-applying for the resource”. Dynamic spectrum access is allowed on condition that it is within the guidelines provided by the regulator.

It has also been announced that the 2017 Global Summit on Dynamic Spectrum Allocation (DSA) will take place in Cape Town from 9-11 May 2017, and ICASA has agreed to co-host the event with the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance.

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[17 June 2016] ICASA have published their findings in respect of the inquiry into dynamic and opportunistic spectrum management.

Findings Document Framework for Dynamic and Opportunistic Spectrum Management

There are, however, very few conclusive findings and the way forward as set out is not particularly convincing:

7 CONCLUSIONS AND THE WAY-FORWARD

7.1 The Authority noted all stakeholder inputs and were all considered in this findings document.

7.2 The Authority will consider all these findings in taking positions on the two key proposals that were the subject of the discussion document.

7.3 In parallel to developing the required positions, the Authority will support further studies on these topics identified in the discussion document as well as the additional topics proposed by the respondents.

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[25 February 2016] We have obtained copies of the submissions made in respect of this process.

Broadband Infraco

Cell C

Dynamic Spectrum Alliance

Google

GSMA

Indigo Broadband

Intel

Internet Solutions

ISPA

Microsoft

Morai Telecoms

MTN

NAB

Orbicom and MNET

SABC

Telkom

Vodacom

WAPA

Sentech

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[18 December 2015] The deadline for submissions has been extended to 22 January 2016.

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[19 October 2015] ICASA has published a long-awaited Discussion Paper on the Draft Framework for Dynamic and Opportunistic Spectrum Management for comment.

Discussion Paper on the Draft Framework for Dynamic and Opportunistic Spectrum Management 2015

The Authority Issues a Discussion Document On Dynamic and Opportunistic Spectrum Management

Submissions are due by 16h00 on 18 December 2015. These should be marked for the attention of Mr Manyaapelo Richard Makgotlho (rmakgotlho@icasa.org.za).