[11 March 2022] The Minister of Communications has published draft policy amendments for comment which effectively mean the abandonment of the wireless open access network (WOAN) as a policy intervention.
Written submissions can be submitted to The Director-General, Department of Communications and Digital Technologies,
for attention: Mr. T Ngobeni, Deputy Director-General: ICT Infrastructure Support (email@example.com) by no later than Thursday 28 April 2022.
|Schedule for expedited licensing of the WOAN
|Commencement of process to reconsider the composite ITA for an individual electronic communications network services (I-ECNS) and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence for the purpose of operating a Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN)
||01 October 2021
|Publication of a consultation document in respect of the draft amended composite ITA for I-ECNS and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licences for the purpose of operating a WOAN
||19 November 2021
|Closing date for receiving written representations on the consultation document in respect of the composite ITA for I-ECNS and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licences for the purpose of operating a WOAN.
||10 January 2022
|Publication of amended composite ITA for I-ECNS and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licences for the purpose of operating a WOAN.
||15 November 2021
|Public Workshops on the amended composite ITA for I-ECNS and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licences for the purpose of operating a WOAN
||15 March 2022
|Closing date for receipt of applications in response to the composite ITA for I-ECNS and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licences for the purpose of operating a WOAN.
||13 May 2022
[6 April 2021] ICASA published a notice on 31 March 2021 confirming that the closing date for responses to its Invitation to Apply (ITA) for an individual electronic communications network service licence and radio frequency spectrum licence for the wireless open access network (WOAN) has been suspended indefinitely from 30 March 2021.
IECS licence and RFS licence for wireless open access network – Suspension of closing date
This is a result of the interdict granted to Telkom in its review application against ICASA where it is contesting the lawfulness of the high-demand spectrum ITA.
[3 January 2021] ICASA published written responses to questions raised during the workshops held from 9-11 December 2020 0n 28 December 2020.
Clarity seeking questions and responses on the IECNS and RFS licence for provision of WOAN services
[4 December 2020] ICASA has published a reasons document providing insight into its motivations in the design of the WOAN ITA published on 2 October 2020.
WOAN ITA Reasons Document 4 December 2020
[29 November 2020] ICASA has published responses to questions of clarity raised in respect of the ITAs for high-demand spectrum and licenses to operate the WOAN.
Responses to stakeholder enquiries in respect of the IMT and WOAN ITA
[24 November 2020] ICASA will be holding public workshops on the ITA for an individual electronic communications network service licence and radio frequency spectrum licence for the wireless open access network (WOAN). The workshops will run from 9 to 11 December 2020 on a virtual platform, starting at 9:00 each day.
Notice of public workshops
[18 October 2020] The deadline for questions of clarity on the ITAs is 16h30 on 22 October 2020.
[2 October 2020] Composite invitation to apply for an individual electronic communications network service licence and radio frequency spectrum licence for the wireless open access network (WOAN) (2 October 2020)
[30 September 2020] Address by the Chairperson on the announcement of invitations to apply for high demand spectrum and WOAN
ICASA will publish the Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for 406 MHz of IMT spectrum and the licensing of the wireless open access network (WOAN) provider on Friday, 2 October 2020, and aims to complete the spectrum licensing process by 31 March 2021.
Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN)
The WOAN will be assigned spectrum consistent with that used by a “credible tier 1 national wholesale” operator in SA:
- IMT700: 1 x 20 MHz;
- IMT2600: 1 x 30 MHz; and
- IMT3500: 1 x 30 MHz.
Capacity uptake obligation: ICASA will impose a 30% national capacity uptake obligation for the successful participants in the IMT auction licensing process.
“The successful licensees shall procure a minimum of 30% national capacity from the WOAN collectively as soon as the WOAN is operational for a period of seven (7) years. The 30% national capacity to be procured from the WOAN will be shared proportionally amongst the successful licensees based on the amount of spectrum acquired from the Auction by each successful licensee.”
Next steps: The closing date for the WOAN ITA is 30 March 2021.
[30 September 2020] ICASA will provide detailed plans for the ITA processes and provide clarification where necessary in a press conference taking place at the Ground Floor Auditorium, SABC Radio Park, which will also be streamed live on YouTube on Wednesday, 30 September 2020, starting at 16h00.
[14 September 2020] ICASA has issued a media release noting that it has set a new deadline of 30 September 2020 for the publication of
- an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for high-demand spectrum (together with a reasons document); and
- an ITA to apply for the individual electronic communications network service licence to be issued to the operator of the wireless open access network (WOAN).
The high demand spectrum assignment process is to be completed by 31 March 2021 while the WOAN licensing process remains set to be finished by 31 December 2021.
ICASA has further called for interested persons to make representations “on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market and any specific factors emanating therefrom, which Council should take into account in finalizing the ITAs”.
The deadline for submissions is 16h00 on 16 September 2020 and these should be sent to Mr. Phil Molefe on firstname.lastname@example.org and Ms. Fikile Hlongwane on email@example.com.
[23 August 2020] Parliament hosted a round-table discussion on spectrum licensing & management in telecommunication & broadcasting sectors as well as its implications for 4IR on 19 August 2020. Presentations were made by the South African Communications Forum (SACF), the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) .
[3 July 2020] ICASA have issued a press release noting that they have failed to meet their own deadline of 30 June 2020 for the publication of ITAs for high-demand spectrum and the WOAN due to the complicated nature of these processes.
ICASA Media Statement
[10 February 2020] Please see below for submissions received in respect of the published Information Memorandum:
[3 February 2020] ICASA has released a media statement regarding submissions received in respect of the published Information Memorandum:
ICASA Media Statement
[2 November 2019] ICASA has published its memorandum setting out its plans for the upcoming process to licence the WOAN and assign high demand spectrum to industry.
Information Memorandum on IMT Assignment Process (1 November 2019)
ICASA is ready to engage stakeholders on the process leading up to the licensing of high demand spectrum
The Information Memorandum is open for comment until 16h00 on 31 January 2020.
[20 September 2019] A media release from ICASA reveals their intention to publish a memorandum on the process it will follow in implementing the Ministerial policy directions on the WOAN and the assignment of high demand spectrum by no later than 31 December 2019.
ICASA to issue an Information Memorandum on the licensing process for high demand spectrum
The information memorandum will set out a draft process, timelines and guidance to interested parties on how to participate and the criteria which will be used by ICASA to evaluate applications. Stakeholders will have an opportunity to make submissions on the document.
[26 July 2019] And here it is:
Policy Direction on High Demand Spectrum and Policy Direction on the Licensing of a wireless open access network (26 July 2019)
[10 October 2018] ellipsis overview – draft policy directions on the WOAN and spectrum october 2018
[28 September 2018] The DTPS has released the Draft Policy Direction for public comment. Interested persons are invited to comment on the proposed policy by 8 November 2018, addressed to: The Director General, Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services; For attention: Mr. T Ngobeni, The Deputy Director-General, Infrastructure Support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposed Policy and Policy Directions to the Authority on Licensing of Unassigned High-Demand Spectrum
CSIR Report: Spectrum Requirements for WOAN