Call for Comment on National Radio Frequency Plan

Independent Communications Authority of South Africa

The independent communications authority of South Africa (ICASA) has issued a notice calling for public comments on the draft update of the National Radio Frequency Plan 2012 (NRFP).

In terms of the Electronic Communications Act (2005) ICASA controls, plans and manages the use and licensing of the radio frequency spectrum.

The national radio frequency plan allocates the electromagnetic spectrum to radio services in the frequency bands between 8.3 kHz and 3000 GHz and all frequency assignments must be in accordance with the current version of the NRFP.

Spectrum allocations are reviewed regularly to reflect the evolving pattern of radio use, particularly in the field of technology.

The NRFP includes the following:
•    Table of frequency allocations, including rules of usage and restrictions.
•    Details for amateur, aeronautical, radio astronomy and maritime usage.

The following changes and inclusions have been made in the NRFP 2012:
•    To reflect agreements taken at international and regional levels including at the World Radio Communications Conferences 2012, with the African Union (AU) and with the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
•    To reflect the 2012 version of the ITU Radioregulations, including updates on the table of frequency allocations extending up to 3000 GHz, South African national footnotes and corrections of typographical errors of previous editions of the NRFP (previously termed the South African Table of Frequency Allocations).
•    Reference to the Astronomy Geographic Advantage Act (2007) is covered in a separate chapter in view of the award of the square kilometre array (SKA) to South Africa.
•    Updated ISM frequency bands in line with Government Gazette 34172, 31 March 2011, (Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations).
•    Added new maritime, aeronautical allocations below 20 MHz and new satellite allocations above 70 GHz.

Written comments should be submitted to ICASA by 8 February 2013.

The notice including the draft NRFP was published in Government Gazette 36025 on 21 December 2012.

Sabinet Cape Town Office