The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) released a
Draft International Mobile Telephony (IMT) Roadmap on 1 September, outlining
ways in which “universal availability of broadband services’ could be reached in
the country. This aligns with the objectives of “broadband for all’ which is a
target of SA Connect, the National Broadband Policy drawn up by previous
communications minister Yunis Carrim.
ICASA maintains that “the growing demand for mobile broadband in South Africa
indicates a need for more mobile broadband bandwidth capacity in general. It is
generally known that many rural areas do not have access to mobile bandwidth
indicating a need for a more universal mobile broadband coverage, a need best
served by deploying lower frequencies that propagate a wider market.’
The roadmap involves moving a number of current licensees out of (or within)
bands identified for IMT services.
Speaking at the annual Southern Africa Telecommunications Networks and
Applications Conference (SATNAC) in Port Elizabeth on 1 September, minister of
telecommunications and postal services Siyabonga Cwele stated that the need
for all-inclusive broadband was great but that “strategic infrastructure and
economic and social benefits require critical mass,’ according to a report on
Cwele outlined the benefits of increased broadband availability which include job
creation, social inclusivity and more involved and active citizenship, and said that
government would make strong efforts to coordinate the formation of new
broadband networks to guarantee universal access by 2020. In the meantime
Cwele stated that equipping a sizable number of schools and government
outfits with connectivity through public-private partnerships by 2016 was still an
important goal for his department.
He added that a full white paper on the integrated ICT policy was scheduled for
the end of March 2015.
Visit the ICASA
website to view the Draft International Mobile Telephony (IMT) Roadmap