The word spectrum in this context refers to a range of radio-waves that are used for communication purposes. This includes the FM or AM radio broadcasts that you listen to on the way to work, and even other wireless forms of communication like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has issued temporary spectrum to Vodacom, MTN, Telkom, Rain, and Liquid Telecom.
Mthinte Communications, Levin Global, and Morai Solutions have also received permission to use the Television Whitespaces (TVWS) spectrum in the 470MHz – 694MHz band.
This spectrum will be released for the duration of the national state of disaster and is expected to ease network congestion. It should also enable operators to maintain the quality of broadband services and lower the cost of access to consumers.
Five spectrum bands were made available for temporary assignment: 700MHz, 800MHz, 2,300MHz, 2,600MHz, and 3,500MHz.
The regulator has now completed its analysis of the applications and has assigned spectrum to five operators.
- 700MHz and 800MHz – Telkom, MTN, and Vodacom get 40MHz each.
- 2,300MHz – Telkom and Vodacom get 20MHz each.
- 2,600MHz – Telkom gets 40MHz, Vodacom and MTN get 50MHz each, Rain gets 30MHz.
- 3,500MHz – Telkom gets 12MHz, Vodacom and MTN get 50MHz each, Liquid Telecom gets 4MHz.
- Television Whitespaces (TVWS) – Mthinte Communications, Levin Global, and Morai Solutions can use TVWS in the 470MHz – 694MHz band.
The regulations, it said, are aimed at alleviating network challenges, easing congestion, and ensuring good quality of service for consumers.