It seemed too good to be true that the government would auction radio frequency spectrum by April this year. Authorities have after all made a string of broken promises in this regard over nearly a decade. Another postponement, this time at the behest of communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, earlier this month vindicated the sceptics. The auction of high-demand spectrum ensures that extra spectrum is allocated fairly between established and newer entrants into the telecoms market. It is necessary that cellphone network providers get the spectrum to satisfy growing consumer demand for high-speed technologies. The government also intends to build a wholesale open-access network to which it will sell access to various service providers and so stimulate competition. This would generate new enterprises, lead to job creation and hopefully lower data costs for consumers. The authority aimed to start issuing next-generation technology — 5G — licences to telecoms operators by 2020...

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