Frequency License Fees
Into force: 1 April 2012 (original date 1 April 2011 – Notice to defer the Commencement Date of the Radio Frequency Spectrum Fees Regulations 2010)
2015 amendment into force: 1 April 2015
Second 2015 amendment into force: 30 April 2015
The Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence Fee Regulations 2010 introduced Administrative Incentive Pricing (AIP) as the new basis for calculating radio frequency spectrum licence fees in South Africa. AIP involves the stipulation of a specific formula for the calculation of fees for the following applications:
- satellite hub ground stations
- satellite VSAT subordinate ground stations.
The rationale behind the setting of the fees is that they should as a minimum serve to cover the administrative cost to ICASA of spectrum regulation. The updated structure will hopefully serve to introduce greater efficiency into the use of spectrum in South Africa.
Current and prospective users of licensed frequency should take careful note of the formula for the calculation of fees set out in the Regulations as it is likely that there will be a fairly significant increase in fees payable for most users.
Reasons Document: Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence Fees Regulations 2010
Draft Radio Frequency Spectrum Fees Regulations 2009
Draft Radio Frequency Spectrum Fee Discussion Document 2009
Public Hearings Schedule (July 2009)
Extension of due date for submissions on draft regulations (to 29 May 2009)
ICASA media release on publication of draft regulations
Industry submissions (selected):
Icasa Cape Town Regional Office
INR South Africa
National Association of Broadcasters
On Digital Media
Professional Mobile Radio Association
South African Radio League
(The Cell C submission is available on request.)
- The use-it-or-lose it principle will be a feature of forthcoming regulations to be drafted under section 33(3) of the Act, dealing with co-ordination and disputes among spectrum licensees. In the interim ICASA has taken a decision not to issue multi-year licences for a period longer than 5 years for certain categories of services (not stipulated) to discourage hoarding.
- Importantly ICASA has taken up the suggestion made by ISPA and WAPA that the GEO factor be reformulated to strongly incentivise rural deployments and increased the discount factor from 0.5 to 0.1.
- The regulations are problemmatic in some respects and should be implemented with caution