ICASA prepares to amend the Annexure B of the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations in respect of Short-Range Devices

Pretoria – The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has published the Draft Amendment Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations, 2022. The amendment regulations include an updated list of radio apparatus whose use or possession shall not require a radio frequency spectrum licence.

The Authority is proposing the incorporation of the key lower 6 GHz band (5925 – 6425 MHz) and the 122 – 246 GHz band for Non-Specific Short-range Applications in Annexure B of the regulations. This will provide a much-needed boost for Wi-Fi availability and uptake, and is expected to enable faster data communications between devices connected to wireless infrastructure, reduce latency, improve efficiency and data throughput.

The decision to update the regulations is necessitated by the need to keep the provisions of the regulations current with the existing and emerging technologies aimed at revolutionising the electronic communications sector.

The lower 6 GHz band is rapidly emerging worldwide as a key component in broadband rollout and uptake, providing an essential local loop component to support fibre or fixed wireless access (FWA) backhaul and Wi-Fi deployment. Making the lower 6 GHz available for Wi-Fi / RLAN (Radio Local Area Network) deployment thus offers important support to the national broadband plan SA Connect, and to its objectives of enabling socio-economic growth and development.

While a radio frequency spectrum licence is not required for the possession and use of radio apparatus listed in Annexure B of the amended regulations; specific regulations, such as those requiring radio apparatus to be type-approved by the Authority in accordance with Section 35 of the Act, will continue to apply.

The Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Safety requirement for the relevant Application Type is still mandatory and must refer to the prescribed standards in the ICASA Official List of Regulated Standards.

“Annexure B of the Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations is an important component of the implementation of the National Radio Frequency Band Plan. ICASA continues to work to ensure that it remains dynamic and constantly evolves to reflect changes in the radiocommunications environment, particularly in the technology field,” says Cllr Peter Zimri.

Interested parties are invited to make written submissions on Annexure B of proposed draft Amendment Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations, 2022 by 16:00 on 30 January 2023. The draft Regulation is published on the Authority’s website and can be accessed on this link.

Written representations or enquiries may be directed by email to: Mr Bethuel Nkgadime; email: BNkgadime@icasa.org.za


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