The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has published Draft Radio Frequency Spectrum Assignment Plans (RFSAPs) for Specific Radiocommunications Systems for public consultation.
The Assignment Plans have been published for the following frequency bands:
• 138 MHz to 144 MHz;
• 335.4 MHz to 380 MHz
• 380 MHz to 399.9 MHz;
• 406.1 MHz to 410 MHz;
• 410 MHz to 430 MHz;
• 440 MHz to 450 MHz; and
• 1518 MHz to 1525 MHz.
These draft RFSAPs of Specific Radiocommunications Systems aim to update and improve the usage of non-IMT radio frequency spectrum in certain priority bands, in terms of section 34(16) of the Electronic Communications Act No 36 of 2005 (the ECA).
The Migration Plans set out in the draft RFSAPs cover frequency bands allocated to various radiocommunication services and identified for the deployment of specific applications of technologies, which are assigned on a technology-neutral basis. Each draft plan details the requirements for using a frequency band in accordance with the allocation and other information in the National Radio
Frequency Plan (NRFP), Gazette No 46088. Details of each RFSAP include radio system technical characteristics, frequency channelling, coordination, the required migration of existing band users and the expected assignment method.
In drafting the plans, the Authority considered the need to minimise additional infrastructure investment and to allow time for customer adoption of the services of the new system in accordance with the harmonised standardisation requirements of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). These cover applications such as Broadband Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR), Single Frequency Applications, Broadband Fixed Wireless Applications (BFWA) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) applications.
‘Various developments have taken place since the original development of the Radio Frequency Migration Plans of 2013 and 2019, and South Africans have given us their support to ensure that spectrum – a scarce national resource – benefits South Africa, its citizens, and its socio-economic development in many areas and in multiple ways,’ says Cllr Yolisa Kedama, Chairperson of the ICASA Council Committee responsible for developing these draft RFSAPs.