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OSA regulatory realities
OSA regulatory realities
OSA regulatory realities
OSA regulatory realities
OSA regulatory realities
OSA regulatory realities
OSA regulatory realities
OSA regulatory realities
OSA regulatory realities
OSA regulatory realities
OSA regulatory realities
OSA regulatory realities
OSA regulatory realities
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OSA regulatory realities


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OSA regulatory realities by Dominic Cull

OSA regulatory realities by Dominic Cull

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  • 1.
    • controlling the frequencies:
    • some current regulatory realities
  • 2. big(ger) picture
    • explosion in demand
    • Estimate around 120 – 150 new entrants seeking access as a result of licence conversion – mostly WISPs but some looking to become telco access providers, mainly utilising WiMax standards
    • + large number of class licensees now registering and looking for regional allocations
    • + very aggressive positions from incumbents, especially the mobile networks
  • 3. big(ger) picture
    • constriction in supply
    • Current frequency management approach not geared to handle demand – massive pile of applications which are gathering dust
    • + indications that ICASA / Govt. will look to the assignment of frequency to achieve policy goals relating to transformation
    • + lack of transparency, esp. with regard to government use
    • + mantra: spectrum is scarce
  • 4. satfa
    • Review of the South African Table of Frequency Allocations (SATFA)
      • Public comment due by 28 August 2008, nothing since then
      • The review as published indicated that it was intended, inter alia , to cover
        • the realignment of SATFA with the ECA and related legislation
        • Allocation of previously reserved spectrum and making spectrum available for new technologies and services
        • “ align SATFA with decisions made at WRC2007”
      • No hearings have been held and the Authority has not made it known publicly how and when it intends to finalise the review.
      • No reply to enquiries...
  • 5. demand exceeds supply?
    • ICASA has confirmed that demand exceeds supply in the 2.6 & 3.5 GHz bands
    • 17 June 2008: findings document released proposing beauty contest + auction as the market mechanism
      • “ allocate the spectrum on technology and service neutral basis, while taking into account technological advances for planning purposes”
      • six additional national licences on the remaining spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band
      • 2 x regional licences per local municipality on the remaining spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band.
      • Proposed 51% BEE equity requirement + broader equity requirements
      • No further progress. Comments sought on the findings document by press release after wails of protest.
      • No indication of the type of auction mechanism contemplated
  • 6. demand exceeds supply??
    • Delays suggest politics and policy are at play
      • Trend towards greater role of state in provision of services
    • Other bands where ICASA has indicated that there is excess demand
      • 2.3 GHz
      • 2.5 GHz
      • 5.8 GHz
      • Lower 7 GHz
      • 10.5 GHz
    • All likely to be subject to some form of market mechanism for assignment
  • 7. demand exceeds supply???
    • No transparency in the assignment of frequency in South Africa
    • ICASA has referred to “permanent assignments” in the 2.6 and 3.5 GHz bands
    • No public progress on auditing usage of existing frequency assignments – ICASA proposing to deal with this through pricing and competition provisions
    • While demand in certain bands may exceed non-assigned frequency in those bands there is no available evidence of anything but administrative scarcity in supply
    • Demand for information certainly does exceed supply
  • 8. co-ordination of usage
    • No indication from ICASA with regard to the drafting of the regulations contemplated under section 33(3) of the ECA relating to frequency co-ordination
      • 33. (1) Holders of a radio frequency spectrum licence must, in good faith, co-ordinate their respective frequency usage with other such licensees to—
      • (a) avoid harmful interference among radio frequency spectrum licensees;
      • (b) ensure efficient use of any applicable frequency band; and
      • (c) allow for the provision of cost-efficient services.
      • (2) Where radio frequency spectrum licensees are unable or unwilling to co-ordinate in good faith in terms of subsection (1), the Authority must intervene and resolve the dispute.
      • (3) The Authority must prescribe regulations governing the co-ordination contemplated in subsection (1), which may include a process for the resolution of disputes among radio frequency spectrum licensees on an expedited basis.
  • 9. licence exempt frequencies
    • 2.400 – 2.583.5 GHz ISM allocated WLAN, wireless wideband systems, wireless wideband data transmission applications, with eirp of 100mW. Interference with Telkom licensed use a problem.
    • 5.150 - 5.350 Indoor Hiperlan allocated for Wireless Access Services / Radio Local Access Networks. Indoor use only with eirp of 200mW. DFS and TPC obligatory (to prevent interference with radar systems)
    • 5.470 - 5.725 Outdoor Hiperlan allocated for Wireless Access Services / Radio Local Access Networks. Indoor use & outdoor use with eirp of 1W. DFS and TPC obligatory (to prevent interference with radar systems). DFS and TPC obligatory (to prevent interference with radar systems)
    • 5.725 - 5.875 ISM currently allocated for non-specific short range devices with eirp of 25mW
    • 17.1 – 17.3G allocated for Wireless Access Services / Radio Local Access Networks
  • 10. 5.8 GHz
    • Enquiry into the use of the 5725-5875 MHz band for wireless broadband access
      • launched on 8 March 2006
      • Informal indications during 2008 that will be allocated to FWA with an eirp of either 2W or 4W
      • But as at June 2009 no further progress appears to have been made.
      • Will probably be finalised in conjunction with the SATFA review
  • 11. spectrum pricing
    • No clarity on market mechanisms to be applied where demand exceeds supply
    • Proposed adoption of Administrative Incentive Pricing (AIP)
      • Used successfully in the UK to promote efficiency of use, especially amongst government users
      • But not a regulatory tool for addressing spectrum hoarding as ICASA seems to think it is
      • In pricing formula propose sharing factor as an incentive to sharing (but prior process required)
  • 12. regulatory interventions
    • “ Open” also refers to open management of frequency
      • OSA should promote transparency and best practise in managing for efficiency
    • OSA should also actively seek to address information black holes and asymmetries in order to inform regulatory intervention
      • Promotion of Access to Information Act request for access to the database of frequency assignments
      • Information has to be provided to allow ECNS licensees to exercise their right to apply for frequency
    • Participation in ICASA and DoC processes – urgent need for multi-disciplinary intelligence from outside the incumbents to be applied
  • 13.
    • thank you.
    • corrections and suggestions most welcome.
    • [email_address]