Tag Archives: ICASA

Vodacom rolls out 5G in South Africa

Telecoms service provider Vodacom has begun the deployment of 5G mobile technology in South Africa and is set to launch in three cities.

According to the telco, this is Africa’s first live 5G mobile network and is currently available through 20 5G sites.

The network will support both mobile and fixed wireless services and is initially available in the cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, while additional cities will be added in the future, the company said.

Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group’s CEO, said: “Vodacom’s 5G launch in South Africa comes at an important time as it will help us improve our network efficiency during the Covid-19 national state of disaster.

“During this difficult and unprecedented period, we are proud to offer world-class network technology to South Africa and all of its associated benefits as we provide an essential service to keep the country connected. This is largely due to the allocation of temporary spectrum by [South Africa’s watchdog] ICASA, which has already mitigated the network congestion we have experienced since the start of the lockdown period.”

Vodacom was recently assigned temporary spectrum by ICASA for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, including one 50MGz channel in the 3.5GHz band, which has been used to fast-track the carrier’s 5G launch.

The carrier noted the deployment of 5G will help it manage the 40% increase in mobile network traffic and 250% increase in fixed traffic experienced during the lockdown.

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Kwesé TV wins SA broadcasting licence

Kwesé Free TV has been granted a commercial free-to-air TV licence by South Africa’s media and communications regulator, despite the pan-African satellite TV service having gone into administration.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has concluded that Kwesé Free TV complies with the relevant South African laws and is capable of receiving the broadcasting licence, which also includes a radio frequency spectrum licence of 55% at MUX 3 frequencies.

ICASA added that there is a market demand for Econet Media-owned Kwesé Free TV, which has the expertise and experience necessary to run a broadcasting business.

The regulator received five applications for the third multiplex frequencies, namely Kwesé, Laedza TV, Tshwaranang Media, Infinity Media Networks and Free To Air TV.

Local public broadcaster SABC opposed the move, claiming the award of additional third-multiplex capacity could hamper a seamless digital migration, but ICASA maintained that licensing an additional individual FTA commercial broadcaster would add to the variety of TV services available to the country’s citizens.

The proposed service “will stimulate competition and increase the variety of television broadcasting services available to South Africans,” it ruled.

With this licence, Kwesé TV will be able to offer a bouquet of channels including sport and general entertainment content. The five channels to be launched are Kwesé Free Sports HD, Kwesé Brave, Kwesé Focus, Kwesé Vibes and Kwesé Drama.

Kwesé Free TV is 20%-owned by Econet South Africa, with Royal Bafoteng Metix owning a 45% stake and Mosong Equities 35%.

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