Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

The Black Business Council has expressed concern at the lack of diversity and competition in the information and communication technology and broadcast media sectors which continue to be dominated by a few players.

The release of additional spectrum will be key in terms of diversifying and boosting competition in these sectors, the organisation says.

The mobile market is dominated by MTN and Vodacom, while Multichoice remains the single player in the pay-TV market.

The high cost to communicate in SA has largely been blamed on lack of competition and the "spectrum crunch".

Spectrum, often referred to as the lifeblood of the wireless industry, refers to the radio signals set aside to carry data over the air, including for mobile phones, TV and global positioning systems.

This is a limited resource largely controlled by the government. The Black Business Council, a confederation that represents black professionals, business associations and chambers, said it would soon meet representatives of the Independent Communications Authority of SA, the department of communications and the department of telecommunications and postal services to discuss ways of unlocking the release of radio frequency spectrum, digital migration, convergence, media diversity and competition.

Black Business Council president Sandile Zungu said: "The information and communication technology sector is very critical to us as it serves as a backbone and platform of all the sectors in the economy and as such, competitive business practices should be demonstrated in instances where an attempt is made to bring new players who will enhance diversity of ownership and views, as well as enhance competition."

phakathi@businesslive.co.za

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