Wireless Broadband World Africa 2009

I was a speaker at Wireless Broadband World Africa today at the CTICC. I presented on Industry Self-Regulation, WAPA and the OSA.

I had some good feedback and one delegate commented that he liked my idea that self regulation is like the Wiki approach to regulation. Inclusive, decentralised and demorcratised.. order without leaders.

I found Sadiq Malik’s ideas on a Telco 2.0 business model very interesting.



I was also a panellist for two of the discussion sessions. Paris Mashile’s (ICASA chair) was on one of these panels. He talked about ICASA’s challenges around funding and skills and how industry employs (steals) ICASA people. I suggested he should hire William Stucke (-;

There were a number of positive ideas around spectrum from Paris Mashile’s presentation:

  • Efficient use of spectrum, sharing and re-use
  • Use it or lose it policy
  • A spectrum audit is in process and he agreed spectrum assignments should be public knowledge

He suggested that a large chunk of spectrum is assigned for military use and there would have to be a negotiation on freeing up some of that spectrum.

He confirmed that the process for licensing 2.6Ghz and 3.5Ghz spectrum will be formally announced towards the end of the month, but provided these details:

  • This spectrum will be technology neutral.. not just for WiMAX use.
  • ~120Mhz spectrum will be divided into 30Mhz portions (per license).
  • There will be a 30% HDI requirement (not 51% BEE)
  • There will be a “beauty contest” first round selection process, followed by an auction process.

This sounds very much like the initial process for getting Individual EC(N)S licenses. I’d guess at least 20 operators will make it past the beauty contest phase.. which makes the details of the auction very interesting. Will it be an open auction?, how many bidding iterations? etc.

This is going to be an interesting ride.