The minister is not wearing any clothes

At the end of last year I gave a presentation at *Camp about Telecommunications Licensing in South Afrca. At some point I talked about what I believe the intention of EC Act was and the potential of this new technology agnostic (horizontal) licensing model.

I talked about “letting the tiger out of the cage”.. by allowing any of the 500+ VANS licensees to build their own network infrastructure and introducing a new era of competition in the market. It’s easy to see why any (all) of the incumbent telecoms payers do not what this to happen.

More options and choices for consumers will result in better service levels. Empowering the smaller and more dynamic entrepreneurial VANS licensees will result in an open and adaptive market.

I’m going to skip the part about ICASA and the Department of Communication’s many failures.. we all know the story.

Something changed last week. With a bit of luck we’re about to get clarity on the rights of VANS to “self provide”. This is a key question for the ongoing license conversion process. For the last 3 years there have been disputes about the rights of VANS to build infrastructure. This lack of clarity worked well for the incumbent players (FUD tactics).

One can only guess why ICASA and the DoC were so content to maintain this state of uncertainty on such and important topic for so long.

The Wirless Access Providers Association (WAPA) and Amobia filed papers in the Witwatersrand High Court last week requesting a declaratory order to clarify the rights of VANS. If WAPA is successful, it will be clear that VANS may self provide and that they must be converted to have ECNS licenses.

WAPA becomes the first group to stand up and say: “the minister is not wearing any clothes”… as everybody suspected.

Read more on the WAPA website and find related stories in the WAPA press archive.