Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spectrum licensing is urgent ? ISPA - | SA IT NEWS

ISPA says spectrum licensing is vital to boosting competition in the telecoms market.

dcull 300x198 Spectrum licensing is urgent   ISPA

Dominic Cull

The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has called on Communications minister, Dina Pule, to urgently finalise policy directions on high demand frequency and the exploitation of the digital dividend.

ISPA says that this is vital to booting competition at all levels in the local telecommunications market. Dominic Cull, ISPA regulatory advisor, says that it is critical to address the licensing of available high-demand frequency in the short term. This, he adds, is the best possible way to increase competition in the market and to deepen broadband penetration.

?Competition in the provision of wireless wholesale and retail services will undoubtedly help address the existing ?affordability gap?. It is this gap which is currently preventing many South Africans from taking up broadband services. Moreover, ISPA?s members have already proved how competition results in price reductions, as evidenced by the current state of the ADSL market,? says Cull. The sooner the assignment process for the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequencies is resumed, the better for all South Africans, he said.

Cull notes ISPA welcomes the focus the minister placed on mobile data pricing during her speech at the recent ICT Indaba, when she emphasised the need for an intervention in this area. This was important as it would help to empower small and large ISPs to compete with the incumbent providers he said. The organisation says it would make a significant short-term contribution to bringing affordable wireless broadband to all parts of the nation.

?ISPA?s members already have a track record of service innovation and pricing decreases, we need look no further than uncapped broadband as an example, in the fixed line broadband market. This has clearly been recognised by the minister, who has obviously noted that at present, there are only limited opportunities to compete with the Mobile Network Operators in the provision of mobile data services. This can, of course, be addressed on an infrastructure level by the licensing of available high-demand frequency,? notes Cull.

Cull states that the minister?s stance in this regard is clearly a positive one, but that ISPA further urges her to prioritise competition at the retail level. ?The MNOs, beside Cell C, do not offer any resale opportunities and do not appear to be interested in competing with each other, except on a marketing level,? he says. ISPA says it therefore believes that introducing genuine competition into the retail market will have a dramatic impact. This will be felt both in terms of service innovation and the affordability of mobile data services, concludes Cull.

Related News :

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  • The Internet Service Providers? Association of South Africa (ISPA) has issued a call to ICASA and the Department of Communications (DoC) to inform industry of their progress in finalising the long-awaited spectrum auctions in the 2.6 and 3.5GHz b ?

  • The Department of Communications (DOC) says it will finalise policy directions on high demand spectrum within the current financial year. Addressing Parliament during her budget vote speech, Communications minister, Dina Pule, said the departm ?

  • Issuing spectrum will introduce more competition to the data market and reduce broadband prices, says the Department of Communications (DOC). Speaking at the 2012 ICT Indaba in Cape Town today, Communications minister, Dina Pule said governmen ?

  • Communications minister, Dina Pule, has extended the date for public comment on the two policy directions that relate to two frequency bands to 29 February 2012. The licensing process, which has been delayed for over five years, will only go a ?

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