[26 December 2021] ICASA has published the Radio Frequency Spectrum Amendment Regulations, 2021, which came into operation upon publication in the Government Gazette on 24 December 2021.
These regulations update Annexure B to the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations 2015, which sets out a table of bands and specifications in terms of which radio apparatus may be used or possessed without requiring a radio frequency spectrum licence. This is often referred to as the table of licence-exempt spectrum applicable in South Africa.
[31 October 2019] ICASA has published amendments to the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations, 2015, amending Regulation 7, paragraph (d), of sub-regulation (3) as follows:
“(d) has less than 30% (thirty percent) equity ownership by Historically Disadvantaged Persons (HDP) or is below a level 4 contributor (B-BBEE status) in terms of the Codes of Good Practice published in terms of section 9(1) of the B-BBEE Act.”
“(d) has a minimum 30% (thirty percent) equity ownership held by persons from Historically Disadvantaged Groups; alternatively, in instances where an Applicant does not have such 30% equity ownership, must be a level 4 and above contributor (BBBEE status) in terms of the Codes of Good Practice published in terms of section 9(1) of the BBBEE Act.”
Amendment of the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations, 2015
[23 July 2019] ICASA has published draft amendments to Annexure B of the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations 2015 for public comment:
The deadline for comments is 4 September 2019 and submissions can be directed to Bethuel Nkgadime per email BNkgadime@icasa.org.za.
[28 November 2016] The amendments to the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations 2015 have been finalised and came into force on 22 November 2016.
[17 June 2016] ICASA have published draft amendments to the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations 2015 for public comment:
The deadline for submissions is 16h00 on 5 August 2016. These should be sent to Mr Manyaapelo Richard Makgotlho, per e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The primary purpose of the proposed amendments is to introduce a framework for the management of the E and V Bands.
“16A. Channel Plans
The E Band
(1) The use of the E-Band shall be as follows:
(a) The band 71 -76 GHz is paired with 81 – 86 GHz.
(b) The plan is based on 2 x 19 basic channels of 250MHz with 10GHz duplex separation and 125MHz guard channels on the band edges.
(c) The basic channels can be aggregated to form higher bandwidth channels.
(2) The E Band is segmented as follows:
(a) A self-coordination block, 73.375-75.875 GHz paired with 83.375- 85.875 GHz which shall be referred to as Block A; and
(b) A block coordinated fully licensed by the Authority, 71.125- 73.125 GHz paired with 81.125-83.125 GHz which shall be referred to as Block B.
(3) The use of Block A shall be in the following manner:
(a) The prospective user shall notify the Authority of the position and technical details of the link (s) within 30-days of link deployment. Details of what needs to be notified are contained in Annex 1.
(b) Prior to link notification, the prospective user shall perform technical assessments against a database of already registered links. The link can only be registered once it has been established that it won’t cause harmful interference to the links in the database.
(4) The use of Block B shall follow the standard application process as prescribed in the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations, 2015.
(5) The Technical parameters reflected in Annexure 3 must be complied with.
The V Band
16B. Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence Exemption
(1) The use of the V band is licence exempt provided that technical parameters reflected in Annex B are complied with.
(2) The detailed frequency coordination is not required and there are no prescribed channel arrangements.
(3) Single frequency (TDD) systems and two frequency (FDD) systems may use any channel.
(4) The radio frequency spectrum fee is not applicable.”
[5 May 2015] ICASA have published amendments to the recently-published Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations 2015.
The purpose of the amendment is to set out a comprehensive process for the transfer of control over radio frequency spectrum licences, an issue that it very much in the news as it forms a core component of the proposed Neotel / Vodacom transaction.
[1 April 2015] Newly-revised final Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations 2015 were published in the Government Gazette on 31 March 2015.
[8 December 2014] ICASA has published extensive revisions to the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations 2011 to correct errors and to bring these Regulations into line with the changes introduced to the Electronic Communications Act by the Electronic Communications Amendment Act 1 of 2014.
This follows from a review of the existing Regulations which found that:
- there are numerous numbering inconsistencies, anomalies and contradictions
- no clear process is set out on how renewal of a spectrum licence is to take place
- no provisions outline the consequence for failure to renew a Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence and the process ICASA will initiate in dealing with illegal users of radio frequency spectrum
- no provisions safeguard the rights of end-users prior to a licensee ceasing to provide services that require usage of spectrum
- no penalty is provided for the contravention of section 31(1) of the ECA.
Comment is due by 13 February 2015.