ICASA allocates emergency radio frequency to telecom operators in SA

SA mobile subscribers will get better internet speeds and overall better service as the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA), the telecom regulator, has issued temporary radio frequency spectrum to operators to tackle communication challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last Friday, ICASA said MTN, Telkom, Vodacom, Rain and Liquid Telecoms have been allocated more spectrum, valid until next November.

Spectrum refers to the radio frequencies on which data and information are carried. Mobile operators have long claimed that access to spectrum will help reduce the cost of mobile data in SA because it will allow the companies to cover a wider geographic area with existing towers while carrying more data traffic.

A spokesperson from mobile operator, Vodacom, said the temporary spectrum “will help our network cope with the significant increase in traffic in recent weeks as people stay home during the lockdown and customers connect for longer following the price cuts we announced on April 1”.

On the other hand, Jacqui O’Sullivan, executive for corporate affairs at MTN SA, said the immediate focus “will be to significantly ease the congestion that we are seeing in hotspots across the country”. The spectrum helps MTN to deliver “faster and more accessible connectivity to our customers during this difficult time”, she claimed.