The department of communications says it is aiming to finalise the policy directive on licensing high-demand spectrum by the end of April. The high cost to communicate in SA has largely been blamed on a lack of competition and the "spectrum crunch". Spectrum refers to the radio signals set aside to carry data over the air, including for mobile phones, TV and global positioning systems (GPSs). This is a limited resource largely controlled by the government. The release of additional spectrum will be key in terms of diversifying and boosting competition in telecommunications sector, and reducing the cost of data. In a statement on Thursday, the department said the move to finalise spectrum allocation was in line with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to “initiate the process for the allocation of high-demand radio spectrum to enable licensing” as part of the economic stimulus and economic recovery plan. In his state of the nation address in February, Ramaphosa indicated that the commun...

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