Spectrum Management

South Africa: ICASA Freezes 5G Spectrum "Because Of Satellite Static"

In South Africa, ICASA (the Independent Communications Authority) has announced a suspension on new spectrum assignment in the 3.6 - 3.8Ghz band, stopping new acquisition of spectrum licenses in the band.
According to ICASA, the spectrum freeze order was necessary because the "5G operations were creating "harmful interference" with satellite transmissions that are operating within the same band.
In South Africa, two companies - Rain and Telkom - both have licences covering the 3.6GHz – 4.2GHz band told MyBroadband (a South African online industry media outlet) that they are aware of ICASA's move and that it will have little or no impact on their current operational plans.
Telkom said: We are aware of the harmful interference between systems in the band 3,600-3,800 Mhz and satellite receivers operating in the same band. Although Telkom is licensed in the 3,600-3,800 Mhz band, it does not currently operate in the band.

On its part, Rain's CEO, Willem Roos, said: "It is ICASA's prerogative to place a moratorium on further licensing in the band if they are concerned about interference. Rain will continue to address and resolve interference complaints to the satisfaction of the regulator." It is in South Africa's interest that its 5G spectrum assets are utilised to their full potential to the benefit of all citizens."

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