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OSA regulatory realities

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OSA regulatory realities by Dominic Cull

OSA regulatory realities by Dominic Cull

Published in: Technology, Business, Travel
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Transcript

  • 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.
    • www.ellipsis.co.za
    • [email_address]

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