TELECOMS: Urgent action pledged on data, spectrum
Mboweni promises to ‘work relentlessly’ with the communications minister to license spectrum for wireless broadband
Data costs must fall, finance minister Tito Mboweni declared in his budget speech. He said the long-delayed licensing of spectrum for wireless broadband will begin this year, and promised to "work relentlessly" with communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams to achieve this. Mboweni said Ndabeni-Abrahams "will shortly be issuing policy direction" to the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) for the licensing of spectrum. "I will work relentlessly with the minister until this matter is resolved," he said. "This includes resourcing Icasa for this mandate." Unlike previous years, when telecommunications has barely rated a mention in budget speeches, the industry was highlighted — along with mining and tourism — in the Budget Review on Wednesday. "Progress has been made on growth-enhancing reforms, including preparations to allocate telecoms spectrum, reform visa requirements and remove barriers to mining investments," the review says. As part of an update on President...