Johannesburg - South Africa will start the process of selling broadband spectrum after a delay of several years, a significant step toward introducing high-speed internet in the continent’s most industrialised economy, according to people familiar with the situation.
Telecommunications companies will be invited to apply for the auction on Friday, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the decision hasn’t yet been made public. The value of the operating frequency hasn’t been determined, the people said.
Wireless operators such as MTN Group and Vodacom Group have been clamoring for more spectrum to expand broadband as stiff competition and tight regulation hampers growth in phone services. South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has pledged to extend broadband access to every household by the end of this decade, improving connectivity in one of the world’s stragglers in internet access.
A spokesman for the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, which will lead the process, said he wasn’t immediately available for comment.