The country’s communications watchdog, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), has issued information for the auction of 4G licenses to provide much-needed broadband services. By Staff Writer

The base price for 4G license would be R3 billion for duration of 15 years.

The spectrum available for assignment is as follows:

  • 2×30MHz in the 700MHz band (703MHz-733MHz/758-788MHz)
  • 2×25MHz in the 800MHz band (796-801MHz/837-842MHz)
  • 2×70MHz and 1×25MHz in the 2.6GHz band (2500-2570MHz/2620-2690MHz and 2595-2615MHz)

This spectrum will be awarded on a national basis covering the entire territory of South Africa.

All licences will be technology-neutral and service-neutral.

The following obligations will form part of the license conditions of the Radio Frequency Spectrum License to be issued:

  • SA Connect set the broadband user throughput target of 100Mbps for 50% of the population by 2020.
  • A Licensee must provide data services across the country with an average uplink of 15Mbit/s and the downlink user experience throughput of at least 30 Mbit/s to 100% of the population of South Africa by 2020.
  • A Licensee must submit documents to demonstrate progress to-date in sufficiently meeting the criteria of the uplink and throughput speed obligations. This information should be provided at intervals of 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months following the date that the 700MHz/800MHz spectrum is made available for network rollout based on commissioning date by the Licensees.
  • A Licensee is required to provide open access to a minimum of three Mobile Virtual Network Operators (3 X MVNO).
  • MVNO must have more than 51% of ownership held by persons from Historically Disadvantaged Groups. A Licensee will have a maximum of three years from the date that the 700MHz/800MHz spectrum becomes available to provide services in line with the set obligations.

The regulator anticipate to issue licenses to winning bidders between 14-28 March, 2017.


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