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IT forum: Spectrum should benefit start-ups first

Aug 03 2019 11:57
Khulekani Magubane, Fin24

The Black IT Forum has urged government to prioritise small, medium and micro enterprises over multibillion-rand corporations in the roll-out of high-speed spectrum in the country.

The forum issued a statement following Cabinet's announcement that it had approved its Policy and Policy Direction for Licensing of High Demand Spectrum last month. The policy establishes a transformation framework to allow new businesses to enter the information technology market.

Newly appointed Black IT Forum president, Motse Mfuleni, said tech start-ups could no longer remain on the sidelines.

"Now that government has finally released the policy direction document, we call upon government to ensure that it gets implemented to break the monopoly by big players in the ICT sector, by allowing small players to have a seat around the table once the high demand spectrum is released," said Mfuleni.

Black IT Forum secretary general Sanele Gcumisa said start-ups in the ICT sector wanted to benefit from and pioneer innovations, as the world shifts into the fourth industrial revolution.

"Start-ups in this space are still not receiving enough support from big corporates, and this is a big barrier for transformation. We need an economy that is inclusive and diverse in order to deal with the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality," said Gcumisa.

The Black IT Forum statement said the release of high demand spectrum should ensure the introduction of new technologies as well as much faster 5G internet connectivity. The statement said this would improve the performance of several sectors, including education and healthcare.

south africa  |  ict  |  spectrum  |  5g  |  start-ups
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