When a regulator that is infamous for being behind the times starts preparing for the future, business and consumers must also get ready for massive change.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) last week announced it will conduct market reviews on what it calls “priority markets” in communications. This means it will look at how regulating these markers can help reduce the high cost of communication for consumers.
It identified three categories of service it intends to regulate, namely wholesale fixed access, including ADSL and fibre, “upstream infrastructure markets” like national fibre grids and urban networks, and high-speed mobile services.
That means that, among other services, Icasa is preparing to target consumer and business pricing of mobile data, with 3G and 4G in the crosshairs. The next generation of communications technology, 5G, will slot neatly into this roadmap.
The proof of the intention will lie in whether it hits the target. Few in the industry forget that, a decade ago, Icasa first issued test licenses for a low-cost wireless broadband technology called WiMax – but to this day has not extended it much beyond a couple of state-owned enterprises.
(Click here or below on the dawn of 5G) The dawn of 5G)