Consumers of telecommunications services in South Africa will witness as for next year better network quality and services thanks to the attribution of new radio frequencies for telecommunications companies, according to the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.

“The intention is allocate the spectrum before the end of the next financial year in March 2019, but hopefully sooner,” said the Ministry’s spokesman Siya Qoza. The latter disclosed that a new bill that will lead to the establishment of a Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) as a network wholesaler would be submitted to parliament this year.

The allocation of the new frequency spectrum will allow operators to expand broadband services, notably in rural areas. Last year, Vodacom’s CTO, Andries Delport, explained that LTE network only covered 44% of rural population versus 91% in urban areas. 

The initial auction by telecoms regulator ICASA was suspended after Minister Siyabonga Cwele challenged the licensing process by arguing that ICASA should have waited until the department had finalized its integrated ICT policy before inviting operators to bid for spectrum.


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