Dominic Cull, the ISPA regulatory advisor, has said the allocation is vital if the government is to hit its target of 100 per cent broadband penetration by 2020.
Cull said: “To do this, we need to understand how the spectrum is currently being utilised. Progress on the audit has been slow, but there are indications that at least a portion of the exercise may have already been completed.”
Once the audit has been completed it is possible spectrum assigned to companies, which is currently not being fully utilised could become available again.
HumanIPO reported in April state-owned Sentech was returning its 2.6 GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum to the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and was due to its involvement in the DoC’s national broadband network plans.
Cull said the DoC had seemingly completed its spectrum audit as alluded to in its presentation to the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprise on April 24, 2013.
He said: “If that’s the case, we believe that the Department should release the results so that the information required to manage this vital resource more efficiently is generally available.”
The introduction of 4G and LTE technology could be made easier if spectrum allocation is made more efficient.
Cull added: “We need to get this issue resolved very soon, the opportunity cost to date of not assigning available spectrum runs to billions of Rands and with further delays we risk putting further brakes on economic growth.”