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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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ICASA prepares for fair and equitable Election 2014 broadcast

Posted by radio On February - 24 - 2014 Comments Off on ICASA prepares for fair and equitable Election 2014 broadcast

With the date for the national and provincial government elections having been announced by the President recently, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa is gearing itself up to ensure fair and equitable treatment of contesting political parties by broadcasting service licensees.

 

In that case, the Authority informs all stakeholders and the media about the publication of the final Regulations on Party Election Broadcasts, Political Advertisements, the Equitable Treatment of Political parties by Broadcasting Licensees. The regulations were published on 17 February 2014.

 

 

The regulations’ aim is to prescribe a framework and guidelines under which Party Election Broadcasts (PEBs) and Political Adverts (PAs) shall be conducted and carried by broadcasting service licensees during the 2014 national and provincial government elections.

 

The Authority would like to inform relevant stakeholders of how the process is going to unfold:

 

 

  • The Authority will receive the final list of contesting political parties from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in due course
  • Upon receipt of the list, the Authority will invite contesting political party representatives to a briefing session to allocate the PEB slots in accordance with the Formula as outlined in the Regulations on Party Election Broadcasts, Political Parties by Broadcasting Licensees
  • The public broadcaster and other broadcasting service Licensees who have indicated interest in transmitting PEBs will also be invited
  • The Council of ICASA will proclaim the Election Broadcast Period.
  • The Authority will therefore publish the PEB schedule in the government gazette within 2 days of the allocation of slots.

 

 

The Authority will ensure that extensive monitoring of election coverage in terms of the regulations and licence conditions of broadcasters is undertaken in that regard.
[Issued by: ICASA]

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New radio licences awarded by ICASA for secondary markets

Posted by radio On February - 6 - 2014 Comments Off on New radio licences awarded by ICASA for secondary markets

[By: Radiobiz Reporter]

 

Kathrina Pillay, Councillor at the Independent Communications Authority, made public ICASA’s decision to render licences for sound broadcast in secondary markets. These markets are regionally in Free State, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape. She added that, “the licensing of additional commercial sound broadcasting services will also stimulate competition and provide choice and variety of radio services available to South Africans.”

 

ICASA’s crusade comes as a developmental strategy to “provide a platform for the expression of multiple views; providing entertainment; promoting information dissemination and education; strengthening social cohesion and giving a voice to various sections of the population”, says Pillay

 

 

The process began with the publication of an Invitation to Apply (ITA), on 2 February 2012, inviting applications for individual commercial sound broadcasting service licences in the secondary markets. The ITA stipulated that only one licence will be issued to the successful applicant in the Northern Cape and with another in the Eastern Cape.

 

Applications had to be submitted to the Authority by 27 June 2012. By the closing date, the Authority had received six applications in response to the ITA, five which include Motheo Media Technologies (Pty) Ltd, Seriti Broadcasting Company, Free Soul FM and Histotrim (Pty). The former three were later disqualified for lack for non-compliance with ITA requirements. The other application came from from Eastern Cape’s Histoprox (Pty) Ltd. No licence application was received in respect of the Northern Cape. The council’s ultimate decision was that that Histotrim (Pty) Ltd and Histoprox (Pty) Ltd be awarded licences.

 

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As the country and the world mourns the passing of the first democratically elected Former President Nelson Mandela, a number of international broadcasters will be descending into our shores for full coverage of the funeral.

 

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa hereby advises all broadcasters to ensure that they have requisite radio frequency spectrum and type-approval licences when covering the upcoming state funeral of Former State President Nelson Mandela.

 

For the coverage of international special events, broadcasters usually bring communications equipment such as Satellite News Gathering (SNG) to relay their broadcasts to their respective international audiences.

 

The SNGs require a radio frequency spectrum licence to be allocated for this purpose and some video cameras with microphones and a wireless capability needs type-approval to ensure that there are no reported cases of interference with licensed services. The type-approval label has to be attached to the communication equipment.

 

In covering the funeral of the Former President, all international broadcasters will have to go through this standard licensing process for compliance purposes; and when a radio frequency spectrum licence is issued, the licensee is obliged to show it to ICASA inspectors as they continue to conduct routine monitoring and compliance duties.

 

The Authority’s website (www.icasa.org.za) has a dedicated link for Special Events licence application forms to enable international broadcasters to apply for requisite licence to cover such events. It should be noted that Special Events licences generally take two (2) days to be issued but the Authority will do everything to expedite such applications.

 

 

[Source:ICASA]

 

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ICASA appoints new CEO

Posted by radio On October - 31 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Johannesburg – The Chairperson and Council of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa hereby informs all stakeholders and the media of the appointment of Mr  Pakamile Pongwana as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organisation starting from 01  November 2013.

 

Mr Pongwana is succeeding Mr Themba Dlamini who is completing his three-year term at the  end of October 2013.

 

The Chairperson and Council of ICASA would like to express their sincere gratitude to Mr  Themba Dlamini for his contribution to the successful operations of the Authority during his tenure; and wishes him well in his future endeavours.

[Issued by: ICASA]


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Johannesburg – The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa hereby gives notice to the media and stakeholders of the public hearings to be held in respect of the applications received for Individual Commercial Sound Broadcasting Service licences in both the Primary and Secondary Markets.

 

The Authority has received seven (7) applications for the Primary Markets of Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban while there were three (3) applications received for the Secondary Markets of Free State and Eastern Cape.

 

The public hearings on this matter will be held as follows:

 

 Date:    14 to 16 August 2013 (Primary Markets)

              22 to 23 August 2013 (Secondary Markets)

 

 Time: 09h00

 

 Venue: Block C Presentation Room (ICASA)

            164 Katherine Street

            Sandton

            2146

 

It is the Authority’s intention to award two Primary Markets licences on the Medium Wave Band to applicants in the geographical markets in Gauteng, two in the metropolitan areas of and around Durban and a further two licences in the metropolitan areas of and around Cape Town.

 

With regard to the Secondary Markets licensing process, it was the Authority’s intention to award one (1) licence to the successful applicant in the Northern Cape Province. Two (2) licences to the successful applicants in the Free State Province and One (1) licence to the successful applicant in the Eastern Cape Province.  However, there was no application received from the Northern Cape.

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Hopefully this time around the capable bidders will be awarded as ICASA  starts with the public hearings process to bring about the much needed competition within the commercial subscription broadcasting licences.

 

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa hereby gives notice of the public hearings to be held in respect of the applications received for Individual Commercial Subscription Broadcasting Service licences.

 

This process follows the invitation to apply issued by the Authority in 2012 whereby the Authority received applications and dealt with related procedural matters relating to the applications including the requests for confidentiality in terms of the relevant legislation; and later published in the government gazettes for interested parties to make written representations and for applicants to provide responses thereof.

 

The Authority has received five (5) applications in respect of this process from Kagiso TV (Pty) Ltd, Siyaya Free to Air (Pty) Ltd, Mindset Media Enterprises (Pty) Ltd, Close-T Broadcast Network Holdings (Pty) Ltd and Mobile TV (Pty) Ltd. The hearings will be held as follows:

 

Venue : Block C Presentation Room (ICASA Head Office) 164 Katherine Street Pinmill Farm Sandton Date : 24 to 26 July 2013 Time : 09h00

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ICASA warns International Broadcasters

Posted by radio On June - 13 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Johannesburg – The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) issued non-compliance warnings yesterday to a number of international broadcasting services for operating without the requisite radio frequency spectrum and type approval licences, including failure to produce a licence upon demand by Inspectors.

 

The non-compliance warnings were issued after ICASA inspectors picked up the transmission of unlicensed broadcasting signals in Arcadia, Pretoria from where the international broadcasters have been operating since the admission of former President Nelson Mandela in hospital last weekend. The affected international broadcasting services include Aljazeera, Sky News, CNN, BBC and the NBC.

 

For the coverage of international special events, broadcasters bring communications equipment such as Satellite News Gathering (SNG) to relay their broadcasts to international audiences.The SNG’s need a radio frequency spectrum licence to be allocated a frequency for this purpose, and some video cameras with micro-phones and a wireless capability need a Type Approval licence to make sure that they do not interfere with licensed operators. The type approval label has to be attached to the video camera and the micro-phones.

 

In the case of the coverage of former President Mandela’s admission to hospital, some of the broadcasters did go through the standard licensing application process that all broadcasters are required to comply with regard to special events of this nature.

 

They were broadcasting prior to their licence applications being approved which rendered their operations illegal. When the radio frequency spectrum licence is issued, the licensee is obliged to show it to ICASA’s Inspectors as they conduct routine monitoring and compliance duties.

 

The Authority issues Special Event licences for this purpose, and by end of business yesterday, several radio frequency spectrum and type-approval licences were already processed for approval to international broadcasting services.

 

The Authority’s website homepage has a dedicated link for Special Event licence application forms to enable international broadcasters to apply for requisite licences to cover events such as the previous held International Cricket 20/20, FIFA 2010 and Afcon 2013.

 

Following the issuance of non-compliance warnings yesterday, the Authority has received, and is busy processing a number of radio frequency spectrum and type-approval licence applications. These Special Event licences take a minimum of two days to be issued, and are valid for 30 days. Other licence applications were rejected as their reasons for the events were vague or non-existing.

 

The Authority is mindful of the fact that former President Mandela was admitted suddenly to hospital last week, and this resulted in a number of international broadcasters descending on our shores without making the necessary preparations and arrangements.

 

To this end, the Authority is always ready to help them in applying for the necessary frequency spectrum licences to broadcasting to international audiences.

 

[Issued by:ICASA]

 

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