[1 April 2021] The Regulations on the Use of Television White Spaces, 2018 came into force in 1 April 2021 and ICASA has invited Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) and other potential users to commence commercial use.
A list of certified providers of Secondary Geo-location Spectrum Database (S-GLSD) services is available at https://whitespaces.csir.co.za/
Ellipsis has been involved with TVWS in South Africa since the hugely successful Cape Town Television White Spaces Trial conducted in 2013 and commends ICASA as well as role-players such as the CSIR, Google, Microsoft and the Wireless Access Providers’ Association (WAPA) for making commercial use a reality in eight years.
[2 March 2021] ICASA has published an invitation to participate in a qualification process to operate as a secondary geo-location service provider through the operation of a Secondary Geo-location Spectrum Database (S-GLSD).
The invitation does not provide a closing date so presumably an applicant can proceed at any time with the process of self-certification and application for qualification set out in the Framework to Qualify to Operate a Secondary TVWS Database Regulations 2020.
Responses and queries can be addressed to Ms Pumla Ntshalintshali, per e-mail: email@example.com.
The Regulations on Use of TVWS 2018 come into force on 1 April 2021.
[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.
[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:
[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.
The Regulations came into force on 5 June 2020.
[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.
The closing date for submissions is 16h00 on 3 March 2020 and these can be sent to Ms Pumla Ntshalintshali per email firstname.lastname@example.org.
[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.
[23 March 2018] ICASA has published final regulations relating to the use of television white spaces in South Africa.
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.
[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.
[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).
Submissions are due by 16H00 on 19 May 2017 and should be submitted to Mr Manyaapelo Richard Makgotlho, per e-mail: email@example.com.
[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.
[17 June 2016] ICASA have published their findings in respect of the inquiry into 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.
[25 February 2016] We have obtained copies of the submissions made in respect of this process.
[18 December 2015] The deadline for submissions has been extended to 22 January 2016.
[19 October 2015] ICASA has published a long-awaited Discussion Paper on the Draft Framework for Dynamic and Opportunistic Spectrum Management for comment.
Submissions are due by 16h00 on 18 December 2015. These should be marked for the attention of Mr Manyaapelo Richard Makgotlho (firstname.lastname@example.org).