Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Siyabonga Cwele, has welcomed two major decisions from Cabinet today.

The first is the Cabinet’s approval of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) study into spectrum requirements for a Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) as outlined in the 2016 National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper.

The CSIR study found that a portion of spectrum could be reserved for a WOAN while excess capacity would be made available to network operators. The details of the study will be released to the public following consultations with Icasa.

“The outcome of this process is crucial for the transformation of the ICT sector to inter alia remove entry barriers, encourage investments by black owned, small and large companies, restructure the market to lower the cost of infrastructure investment thereby contributing to the reduction in the cost of communications,” Cwele said in a statement.

The minister adds that black-owned companies, particularly SMEs have a role to play in the Fourth Industrial revolution.

“The conclusion of this process will allow government to plan forward and prepare to deal with further technological advances including 5G,” added the minister.

Moving forward, Cwele will meet with Icasa (as is required by law) about the finalisation of the policy and once that consultation has been approved the CSIR’s study will be made public.

The second decision from Cabinet was to approve the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill for tabling in Parliament. This follows extensive consultation with the public and industry.

The bill will be put before Parliament next week for consideration and processing.

Cwele said the finalisation of the Bill, after the Parliamentary process, will create clarity, predictability on the policy direction and the regulation of the sector.

[Source – Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services] [Image – CC BY 2.0 ITU Pictures]