ICASA Publishes Draft Radio Frequency Migration Plan

Independent Communications Authority of South Africa

The independent communications authority of South Africa (ICASA) has published the Second Draft Frequency Migration Regulation and Radio Frequency Migration Plan in terms of the Electronic Communications Act (2005).

The purpose of these regulations is to establish the framework by which ICASA will migrate users of the radio frequency spectrum under the national radio frequency plan of South Africa.

The radio frequency migration plan is drawn up with the following principles in mind:
•    All radio frequency spectrum migration will be in accordance with the radio frequency migration plan.
•    Radio frequency spectrum migration must be consistent with the national radio frequency plan.
•    The national radio frequency plan itself must be consistent with the international telecommunication union (ITU) radio-regulations as updated by the world radio communication conference (WRC) and with the SADC frequency allocation plan.
•    Allocations and assignments of radio frequency spectrum that are no longer in line and accordance with the national radio frequency plan will be migrated.
•    The users to be migrated shall not be entitled to be compensated by ICASA for the costs of the migration.
•    To the extent that it is possible, the cost of migration should be minimised by considering, amongst other things, the duration of the licence and the economic life time of the equipment.
•    Frequency migration may be required in core and central astronomy advantage areas in terms of the Astronomy Geographic Advantage Act (2007).

The regulations include the following issues:
•    Licensing framework.
•    Spectrum use in the Karoo central astronomy advantage areas.
•    Radio frequency spectrum licence.
•    Identification of bands which are subject to frequency migration.
•    Migration process.
•    Time frame for migration.
•    Duration of the radio frequency spectrum licence.

Written comments on the draft which was published in Government Gazette 36031 on 24 December 2012 should be submitted by 8 February 2013.

Sabinet Cape Town Office