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ICASA moves to enquire PayTV market

Posted by radio On August - 29 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has published a Discussion Document in Government Gazette NO 41070 to solicit written representations in respect of an inquiry into Subscription Television Broadcasting Services.

 

The document sets out the Authority’s preliminary  consideration of subscription television broadcasting services in South Africa, and seeks stakeholders’ inputs including in respect of the definition of markets and market segments, the effectiveness of competition in the relevant markets, a determination of licensees with significant market power, and possible appropriate pro-competitive licence conditions that may be imposed.

 

The document follows General Notices published by the Authority in July and September 2016, respectively, giving notice of its intention to conduct an inquiry into the Subscription Television Broadcasting Services.

 

Following public consultation processes, including public hearings and a draft findings document, the Authority will publish a Findings Document, which may result in the Authority developing regulations.

 

Interested stakeholders have until 31 October 2017 to make their written submissions to be considered by ICASA in developing the draft findings report.

 

DISCUSSION DOCUMENT DOWNLOAD: INQUIRY INTO SUBSCRIPTION TELEVISION BROADCASTING SERVICES

 

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With three weeks to go until the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance’s Fifth Annual Global Summit, which is this year returning to Africa, co-host ICASA, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, has published draft regulations on the use of TV White Space (TVWS) in the region.

 

The draft regulations, which are open for public consultation until 19 May 2017, highlight the progress South Africa is making in enabling affordable Internet through dynamic spectrum access. These draft regulations – which the DSA fully welcomes – and technologies will be discussed at the DSA Global Summit, taking place in Cape Town between 9 to 11 May 2017, where a whole host of leading industry figures and regulators from around the world have been announced to speak, including the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

 

 

“In the past, exclusive licenses for specific frequency bands and specific purposes dominated spectrum allocation policy and regulations,” said Pakamile Kayalethu Pongwana, CEO of ICASA. “While these models are good for monetizing the spectrum and for coordination between multiple services and operators to avoid interference, they often result in underutilization of spectrum. In the last decade, however, governments and regulators around the world have embraced the concept of ‘spectrum commons’ as another way to bring citizens innovation on new wireless technologies.”

 

The event will open on 9 May with a full day regulator workshop on spectrum sharing and dynamic spectrum access. Alongside ICASA, other regulators in attendance will include Korea Radio Promotion Association (RAPA), Agência Nacional del Espectro (ANE), the Ministry of Communications for Argentina and Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações (ANATEL).

 

Day one of the Global Summit will be opened with keynote addresses from Kalpak Gude, President of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance, and ICASA CEO, Pakamile Kayalethu Pongwana, followed by panel sessions on spectrum sharing and enabling the Internet of Things (IoT) through dynamic access technologies. The latter panel will feature Dr. F. Mekuria, Chief Research Scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) South Africa, where he leads research on dynamic spectrum access. His perspective on how to connect underserved populations in emerging economies will add another dimension to the panel, which also includes Facebook, University of Strathclyde, and VistaLifeSciences Inc.

 

A panel session on closing the digital divide will address financial challenges associated with large-scale network deployments, with speakers including: Mr. Alexander Hadden, Director, Structured Finance & Insurance, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC); Mr. Chikioke Egejuru, Investment Analysis, International Finance Corporation; Mr. Lumko Mtimde, CEO, the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) and will be moderated by Mr. Frank McCosker, General Manager, Affordable Access & Smart Financing, Microsoft Corporation.

 

Other confirmed speakers on day one include Ira Keltz, Deputy Chief of Policy and Rules Division, Office of Engineering and Technology, US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), who will join the panel on Wi-Fi for the 5G World. On the final day of the Summit, Ira will start with a keynote address, before joining the Regulator Leadership Summit later in the day.

 

ICASA CEO Pongwana will return to speak on day two of the Summit to speak on a panel titled Creating Opportunities for Deployment, which will be moderated by Emeritus Executive Director of the DSA, Prof. H Sama Nwana. The panel will bring together policy makers to discuss challenges and solutions to establishing regulatory frameworks for enabling investment in infrastructure – something that is crucial to bridging the digital divide in South Africa, and around the world.

 

Other speakers confirmed on the agenda include representatives from: Facebook, Adaptrum Inc., C3 Limited, the Communications Authority of Kenya, Aruba (a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company) and New American Foundation.

 

Platinum sponsors of this year’s event include Microsoft and Nominet. Gold sponsors include Adaptrum Inc. and MBC, while MedyaCity is a Silver sponsor.

 

To secure your place at the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance’s Fifth Annual Global Summit in Cape Town, South Africa (9-11 May 2017), visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dynamic-spectrum-alliance-2017-global-summit-tickets-28614617090. To view the full Summit agenda, visit: http://dynamicspectrumalliance.org/global-summit/agenda/.

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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has signed and entered into a technical agreement with the Autoridade Reguladora Das Communicações, the communications regulatory authority of Mozambique last week. This is an agreement of co-operation and co-ordination in respect of spectrum management for telecommunications and broadcasting services, and will see the establishment of a Technical Committee which would address matters of common interest between the two regulators on radio frequency co-ordination.

 

In terms of this agreement, the two regulators shall work together to ensure, among others, co-operation on the co-ordination, control and management of radio transmission spill-overs, exchange of information and expertise in the field of radio communications.

 

 

 

 

 

“It is our commitment as regulators to make expertise, infrastructure and equipment available to assist each other on regulatory matters, including radio frequency spectrum investigations, possible cross-border spill-overs and of course, co-ordination of our services”, says ICASA Acting Chairperson, Rubben Mohlaloga after signing the agreement.

 

The technical agreement is a culmination of the Memorandum of Agreement entered into by the two governments in June 2015, aimed at finding new approaches and strategies for consolidating, expanding and deepening areas of economic development, industrial, and trade co-operation between Mozambique and South Africa.

 

“This is a critical step for us as regulators because we have a common goal of ensuring that the needs of our people are taken into account and that their service consumption is exactly what they pay for and interference-free”, concludes Mohlaloga.

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ICASA to hold public hearings on WoWtv application

Posted by radio On October - 26 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (“ICASA”) has given notice to all interested stakeholders that they will hold public hearings in respect of an application from Walking On Water Television (WoWtv) for the authorisation of nineteen (19) video channels and eight (8) radio channels lodged in terms of regulation 3 of the Subscription Broadcasting Services Regulations 2006.

Wowtv logo2

The Authority has received three (3) submissions on this application and scheduled public hearing in that regard.

 

DATE            30 October 2015

VENUE        :  Pinmill Farm, 164 Katherine Street

 

TIME ITEM PRESENTER
09h00 – 09h30 Opening Address ICASA
09h30 – 10h00 Presentation Walking on Water Television (Pty) Ltd
10h00 – 10h30 REPRESENTATIONS Deukom (Pty) Ltd
10h30 – 11h00 Tea Break
11h00 – 12h00 RESPONSES Walking on Water Television (Pty) Ltd
12h00 – 12h30 Question And Answer ICASA
12h30 – 12h35 Closing ICASA

 

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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (‘the Authority’) hereby notifies all stakeholders, particularly communities with an interest in applying for community sound broadcasting service licences that the Authority has issued a notice of a moratorium in respect of such applications as well as applications for radio frequency spectrum licences for the purposes of providing a community sound broadcasting service.

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In the government gazette published on 22 September 2015, the Authority stated that the imposition of the moratorium was necessitated by the following:

 

  1. Scarcity of analogue radio frequencies

 

  1. The current review of licensing processes and procedure regulations wherein the Authority intends to process registrations for community sound broadcasting services in two (2) intervals per year

 

  1. The Authority’s intention to develop a new regulatory framework for community broadcasting during the 2016/17 financial year

 

It should be noted that the moratorium does not apply to pending registrations currently before the Authority and applications already approved but not issued with community sound broadcasting licences.

 

The Authority will issue a formal notice and communicate its decision to lift the moratorium once all processes have been completed and it is ready for licensing.

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ICASA issues an ITA for Spectrum licence

Posted by radio On September - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has issued an Invitation To Apply (ITA) dated 10 September 2015 (Gazette No: 39191) for the Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence for the third Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT3), referred to as multiplex 3 (“MUX 3”) in terms of the Promotion of Diversity and Competition on Digital Terrestrial Television Regulations of 2014.

Icasa

The successful applicant will be assigned 45 % of MUX 3 capacity by the Authority for commercial subscription television broadcasting services.

 

The minimum requirements for the prequalification stage are as follows:

 

  1. An applicant must be a television broadcasting service licensee as defined in the Promotion of Diversity and Competition on Digital Terrestrial Television Regulations.

 

  1. An applicant must have a minimum of 30% ownership held by historically disadvantaged person(s) and/or a level 4 (four) Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) status.

 

The Authority views this as an important milestones towards promoting diversity of television content for the South African public while fostering competition within the subscription television sector.

 

The closing date for the ITA is 30 November 2015.

 

 

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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) hereby issues the Findings Document following the publication of a Discussion Document into the review of South African Local Content on television and radio. The process that drew a lot of attention from interested stakeholders and the general public, summarises the views expressed by interested persons with respect to the regulation of South African Local Content.

Icasa

 

It is the Authority’s view that the summary is not exhaustive, but reflects on salient issues raised by interested parties; and these will assist ICASA to develop positions and draft regulations informed by the consultations and research conducted thus far on South African Local Content.

 

The Authority commends stakeholders who took part in this process, with some submitting that local content must be audited across the entire bouquet of the television service provider rather than requiring each channel to measure compliance with television local content requirements.

 

Others cautioned the Authority that excessively high local content requirements can undermine the viability of broadcasters and pluralism, particularly at the community level as this will lead to a higher number of repeats, ultimately resulting in negative consequences such as the decline in listenership.

 

Even though the Authority is yet to develop its position, it still believes that through South African music and television programming, radio and television can make a vital contribution to democracy, nation building and development in South Africa; while protecting and developing the country’s national cultures and identities, and promoting local industries.

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More competition for Free to air TV on the way

Posted by radio On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has issued an Invitation to Apply for Individual Commercial Free to Air Television Broadcasting Service Licence

tv-screens

The new players will compete with the likes of eTV which was launched in October 1998 and SABC 3 which is a commercial arm of the public broadcaster. For a detailed ITA see the link below:

 

 

https://www.icasa.org.za/Portals/0/Lic%20and%20Compliance/37953_29-8_ICASA.pdf

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The changes in technologies and developments in the broadcasting sphere brought about by the imminent migration to digital broadcasting have led to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) undertaking a review of the South African local content regulations for television and radio. The Authority has published a Discussion Document for public comments.

Icasa

 

The Discussion Document is an Inquiry in terms of section 4B of the ICASA Act into the review of South African Local Content on television and radio regulations.

Prior to developing a Discussion document the Authority appointed a Consulting Company to conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of the cultural, economic and social benefits brought about by the preservation of South African programming regulations; and to perform a sound cost-benefit analysis on behalf of ICASA. A copy of the Consulting Company report is available at the ICASA library.

 

 

It is the Authority’s view that through South African music and television programming, radio and television can make a vital contribution to democracy, nation building and development in South Africa; and that the local content quotas will go a long way in protecting and developing the country’s national cultures and identities, and promoting local industries.

 

 

Interested stakeholders are encouraged to make comments on the Discussion Document by no later than 16h00 on 10 September 2014.

 

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Icasa sets sights on new spectrum bands

Posted by radio On May - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

 

Although Icasa regulates all spectrum between 9kHz and 1THz, Stucke explained that the authority has not really attempted to tackle anything above 30GHz until now.

 

Icasa only has a spectrum licensing framework that goes up to 30GHz. We don’t know how to regulate spectrum above 30GHz,” he said.

 

Stucke said the first challenge is that the current spectrum fee regime doesn’t make sense above 30GHz as it will prove prohibitively expensive. He explained that the issue is resolvable and Icasa intends addressing it so that the industry can take advantage of EHF spectrum.

 

Icasa, he said, must still determine which licensing models are most appropriate – whether the frequency should be licence-exempt or licensed in some way. He said the conventional licensing model for spectrum is well understood, but is slow, cumbersome and expensive. The licence-exempt model tends to work quite well for Wi-Fi, but only for personal hotspots, he said. “It’s not always as good for commercial uses as there is no provision for protection [from interference].”

 

Because of its properties, EHF spectrum is most likely to be used for short-distance, high-capacity, point-to-point links – providing “very fast throughput using relatively small antennas with very high gain”, according to Wapa executive committee associate and spectrum expert Jens Langenhorst. One application, Langenhorst said, would be for providing high-speed backhaul between small cellular sites (so-called picocells).

 

However, EHF spectrum has a number of problems, including the fact that it is only really suitable for short-distance communications (typically 2km or less) and the fact that it is highly susceptible to so-called “rain fade”. Also, specifically around 60GHz, oxygen in the atmosphere “absorbs” radio signals and causes significant attenuation.

 

In past it was considered unusable spectrum, but you can do a hotspot and get a gigabit per second of capacity over it over a relatively short distance,” he said. “60GHz is not usable much beyond 2km and is the one place in EHF spectrum where attenuation is at its worst.”

 

Heavy rain also causes problems, Langenhorst said. However, Simon Yomtov, country MD of networking specialist Ceragon, said South Africa is “an almost perfect place to deploy e-band”. This is because rainfall is fairly low in general.

 

Wietz Joubert, co-founder of Redline Technologies, proposed a different solution. He said so-called “optical wireless broadband” (OWB) technology, which uses optical laser beams to transmit data at high speeds in the 300THz and 400THz bands, could be used in conjunction with EHF equipment to provide high-speed short-haul links.

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