PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa says he is unhappy with the delay of the spectrum release.
Ramaphosa was addressing members of the SA National Editors Forum (SANEF) on Wednesday night as part of his ongoing engagements with different sectors of the society.
“I am very unhappy with the delay of the spectrum release. The economy cannot be kept in limbo for another six months. I’ve had meetings with the minister and said – find ways of getting it quicker. I’ve also told ICASA to move quicker. Our economy needs the release of the spectrum,” said Ramaphosa.
ICASA announced last week that the spectrum will now be allocated by the end of communications regulator’s financial year in March 2021, which is three months later than the 31 December 2020 deadline it had originally promised to meet.
Allocation of high-demand spectrum is seen as key to expanding broadband services, especially 5G, in Africa’s most industrialised economy, where the high cost of telecommunications is a barrier to doing business.
The high cost of communication in SA has largely been blamed on a lack of competition and the “spectrum crunch”.
Spectrum refers to the radio signals set aside to carry data over the air, including for mobile phones, TV and global positioning systems (GPSs).
(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)