South Africa’s Independent Communications Authority(ICASA) has issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz and 2600MHz bands.

The invitations were sent out to all interested parties wishing to provide wireless broadband services in the country.

ICASA said the main aim is to ensure nationwide broadband access for all citizens by 2020 in line with the National Development Plan and SA Connect Policy.

The country has experienced continued growth in demand for spectrum as a result of significant growth in data traffic. The lack of available spectrum has been a recurrent complaint from operators, and Icasa said it hopes to address the problem by increasing the current allocated bandwidth of 567 MHz of IMT spectrum.

MTN said it’s currently evaluating the Invitation To Apply to understand the requirements for participation as well as the terms and conditions of the auction process. It said the licensing of frequency spectrum will benefit consumers who are demanding better quality and higher speeds as it will allow operators to more rapidly roll out advanced broadband services.