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Icasa warns against cordless

Icasa has issued a statement warning the public against buying imported cordless phones, as they cause interference with local networks.

South Africa’s communications regulator, Icasa, this morning has issued a statement warning the public against buying imported cordless phones. The regulator issued the following statement:

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) warns the South African public against the purchasing or importing of cordless phones, including bringing in phones into the country when they travel to other countries. While phones may be similar to models available locally they are configured for the networks of countries for which they were manufactured they are specifically optimised for the frequency allocations of the service providers of those countries. As a result, when these phones are used in the Republic they cause extensive interference in network services and effectively disrupt communication services.

All phones brought into South Africa must be type approved by ICASA. It is a criminal offence to use a non-type approved phone in South Africa. Consumers who purchase phones from retailers and/or flea-markets may be vulnerable and may have bought illegal phones.

ICASA is beginning a nationwide crack-down on illegal phones. While ICASA has the power to search and seize illegal equipment, it encourages the public to hand in phones to its regional offices.

The nationwide programme will begin in the Cape Peninsula area due to the unprecedented and alarming number of incidents that have severely impacted the networks and rights of operators and consumers. During the past two years ICASA attended to more than 30 cases of interference, first in the Sea Point area, and later the interference had spread to the entire Cape Peninsula.

Why do phone that are sometimes available locally cause interference in the South African market?

Due to the varied configurations of phones for the different markets, a non-type approved phone has the potential to cause interference at two levels:

1. It negatively impacts your call quality and

2. It causes interference to mobile towers and other subscribers.

Such interference violates the licence rights of both operators and subscribers. The result of interference is poor quality of service and the non-availability of access to the network and increased dropped calls and slower data rates.

The Electronic Communications and ICASA Acts empower ICASA to investigate and to confiscate any equipment that causes interference, including handsets. ICASA has the authority to confiscate any equipment without compensation to subscribers.

Phones causing interference

Below is a list of phones that are causing interference, and the public is urged to hand these in to ICASA offices urgently. These are not the only phones causing interference: these are just the most prevalent at the moment.

What consumers must look out for?

All type approved equipment must have an ICASA type-approval sticker similar to the image below.

Consumers are urged to work with the Authority to:

1. Identify retailers selling illegal phones

2. Not to buy any phone that does not have the ICASA type approval sticker.

How to report illegal phones

The Authority would like members of the public in possession of these cordless phone sets to contact ICASA at the following Head or Regional Offices or to call for further information:

Cape Town

14th floor Golden Acre Building

Cnr Adderley and Strand Streets

(021) 431-9800


Suite 1500 Victoria Maine Building

71 Margaret Mncadi Avenue

(031) 334-9500

Port Elizabeth

4th Floor Execu Business Centre

Newton Street, Newton Park

(041) 394-1600


Cnr Koller and Lombard Streets

(051) 411-5900


Block A, Pinmill Farm,

164 Katherine Street

(011) 566 3089


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