Joe on ITWeb

I was quoted in an ITWeb article: Small telcos in limbo

Not the best article, imho.

I few comments..

As usual, I can’t remember saying the wireless access providers are generally in a state of limo.. they are still deploying networks using licence-exempt spectrum. In the context of their new licences.. I did say I think many of them are still in a state of awe and disbelief after actually getting their new (ECNS) licences. It was an interesting battle.

Most of the independent wireless operators which WAPA represents now have the same licences as Telkom and Neotel.. the only snag is that they don’t have access to licenced frequency spectrum and most of them don’t have the kind of money needed to build big fibre networks (yet).

I’d say this is a time of strategy and planning. They don’t have the option to “go for” shared or dedicated spectrum at this point, not yet. If anybody has created a state of limbo (around spectrum) it’s ICASA.

There will be a strong focus on spectrum in 2009 as licenced or lite-licenced spectrum would allow operators to deploy improved wireless networks under their new licences.. and would be a logical next step without the massive capital expenses related to building fibre networks.

The revenue numbers may very well be accurate.. but 60%+ of this income relates to consumer business income which has been under pressure from competing services like ADSL.