Statement on the successful conclusion of the auction of the high-demand frequency communication spectrum

18 March 2022

The Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Ms Khumbudzo Ntshavhenicongratulates ICASA and the bidders on the successful conclusion of the auction for high demand frequency communication spectrum. The Minister is pleased that the auction raised, which is R6 billion above the initially anticipated amount.

The value of licensing this spectrum for South Africa does not only lie on the amount raised for the National fiscus, but on the impact it will have on the socio-economic development of the country. At the immediate, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, ICASA and the successful bidders speedily finalise the 36- months implementation plans for the connection of 18 520 public schools, 5 731 public health facilities, 8 241 offices of traditional authorities, and 1 154 police stations.

Furthermore, the availability of the spectrum will increase the pace of rollout of connectivity to areas that do not have access to networks, where communities still have to travel a distance to just make a call or let alone to receive an email. The provision of both private and public services will also improve as the country will have an opportunity to use digital technologies in a way that improves both efficiency, productivity, and access. Government remains committed to ensure the lowering of the cost of communicating which will also be bolstered by an increase in adoption of technology.

“We look forward to continue working the ICT sector in general to take full advantage of the opportunities opening in the digital economy. The licensing of this spectrum is just a beginning as we work towards the full deployment of 5G and other next generations networks in a manner that is transformative of both the content of our economy and its ownership,” concluded Minister Ntshavheni.

Issued by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies

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