242021May
Technology Media and Telecommunications Africa Quarterly e-Bulletin

Technology Media and Telecommunications Africa Quarterly e-Bulletin

Compiled by Wendy Rosenberg and Tebogo Sibidla of Werksmans Attorneys – South Africa.

This e-bulletin highlights key legislative and regulatory developments in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors in sub-Saharan Africa.  This issue covers the period 16 January 2021 to 15 April 2021 includes developments from Botswana, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Botswana

National Cybersecurity Strategy

In January 2021, the Ministry of Transport and Communications published the National Cybersecurity Strategy, which is aimed at creating a comprehensive and inclusive approach to delivering a safe, secure and resilient cyberspace and a comprehensive framework to facilitate coordinated responses by Government, the private sector, and other partners to address issues of cyber security.

Penalty Framework

On 8 February 2021, the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) notified licence holders under the Communications Regulatory Authority Act that they have completed a Penalty Framework to be used as a guide in imposing civil penalties in line with the CRA Act.  The Penalty Framework is intended to assist BOCRA to be objective, transparent and consistent when imposing said penalties.  BOCRA invited Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Radio Frequency Licensees and Commercial Postal Operators (Couriers) to attend virtual meetings on the framework, to be held on 18 or 19 February 2021 at 10h00.

Draft Campus Radio Licensing Framework

On 16 February 2021, BOCRA invited stakeholders to give their input on a Draft Campus Radio Licensing Framework.  In 2020, BOCRA invited stakeholders to make written input to the Campus Radio Licensing Framework Discussion Paper. BOCRA considered the comments and consolidated them into the Discussion Paper. A stakeholder’s consultation workshop was then held to obtain oral submissions and explanations of the written submissions.  Flowing that, BOCRA developed the Draft Licensing Framework.  The deadline for comments was 24 February 2021.

Draft Guidelines on Electronic (E-Mail) Security

On 30 March 2021, BOCRA published the Draft Guidelines on Electronic (E-mail) Security.  The purpose of the Electronic Mail Security Guidelines is to recommend security practices for designing, implementing, and operating email systems to public and private networks. There was no indication of a public consultation period.

Draft Website Application Security Guidelines

On 30 March 2021, BOCRA published the Draft Website Application Security Guidelines. The purpose and objective of these Guidelines is to set important checklist and steps in protecting websites from exploitation; including but not limited to having good software development hygiene, continuous patching of discovered vulnerabilities, using up-to-date encryption, and requiring proper authentication. There was no indication of a public consultation period.

Broadband Facts and Figures December, 2020

On 1 March 2021, BOCRA published its document setting out Broadband Facts and Figures as at December, 2020.

National Numbering Plan and List of Numbering Resource Allocations and Assignments

On 19 March 2021, BOCRA published the National Number Plan and List of Numbering Resource Allocations and Assignments.  The purpose of the National Numbering Plan is to ensure transparent, non-discriminatory, and efficient number allocation, assignment and use of telecommunications numbers by service providers and end-users for the provision and consumption of telecommunications services, respectively.

eSwatini

Senior Employee Engagement Directive, 2020

On 18 February 2021, ESCCOM published the Senior Employee Engagement Directive, 2020 which were set to come into force on 10 February 2021.  The objective of this Directive was to direct the appointment of individuals performing key control functions or holding key positions in the electronic communications, postal and broadcasting sector, taking into account the following factors, amongst others: a) The position to be filled; b) The candidate to be engaged/employed; c) The candidate’s qualifications and experience; d) The candidate’s character; e) Localization of positions and skills transfer in the sectors; f) Verification of academic qualifications of the candidate; and g) Police security clearance of the candidate.  ESCCOM revoked the Directive on 12 April 2021

Broadcasting Code, 2020

On 5 March 2021, ESCCOM published the final Broadcasting Code, 2020. The Code is intended to fill the gaps that are not covered by the Broadcasting Guidelines, 2017 as well as further clarify in detail some areas which has not be adequately amplified.

Spectrum Fee Schedule, 2021

On 1 February 2021, the Eswatini Communications Commission (ESCCOM) published the revised Spectrum Fee Schedule, 2021, which, with effect from 1 April 2021, repeals the Spectrum Fee Schedule 2018 for radio frequency spectrum license fees.

Ethiopia

Tender Notice: Request for Proposals for Two Telecommunications Licenses

On 27 November 2020, the Ethiopia Communications Authority (ECA) published a Tender Notice regarding the Request for Proposals for Two Telecommunications Licenses.  All details and instructions pertaining to the submission of proposals, including the qualification criteria and conditions for eligibility to participate, were described in the Request for Proposals, and anyone who was interested in receiving the Request for Proposals, had to request a copy via e-mail before 10 December 2020. The deadline for applications was 5 March 2021, but the ECA extended the deadline till 26 April 2021.

Ghana

Legal Services and Licence Fees as at December, 2020

On 9 February 2021, the National Communications Authority (NCA) published the Legal Services and Licence Fees as at December, 2020, as approved by the NCA Board in December, 2020.

Industry Report – Telecom Subscriptions for December 2020

On 19 March 2021, the NCA published the Industry Report on Telecom Subscriptions for December 2020.  This report highlights voice and data trends that have occurred in the telecommunication industry as at the end of December, 2020. It presents information on Mobile Voice Telephony, Fixed Line as well as Mobile Data subscriptions for the month under review.

Kenya

Draft National Radio Frequency Spectrum Policy, 2021

On 18 March 2021, the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs published the revised Draft National Radio Frequency Spectrum Policy, 2021 and an Invitation to a Stakeholder Validation Forum on 8 April 2021.  The Draft Policy is aimed at ensuring effective and efficient management of frequency spectrum.

Draft National Film Policy, 2021 and Draft Kenya Film Bill, 2021

On 20 January 2021, the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs published the revised Draft Kenya Film Bill, 2021 and Draft National Film Policy, 2021, and an Invitation to a Stakeholder Validation Forum which on 26 January 2021.

Draft Data Protection Regulations, 2021

The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs and Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, through a Taskforce on the development of the Data Protection Regulations, formulated three sets of Draft Regulations to actualize the Data Protection Act, 2019.  On 13 April 2021, the Ministry published a Notice calling for comment and inviting public participation on the Draft Data Protection (General) Regulations, 2021, Draft Data Protection (Registration of Data Controller and the Draft Data Processors) Regulations, 2021 and the Draft Data Protection (Compliance and Enforcement) Regulations, 2021.  On 19 April 2021, the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in partnership with the Lawyers Hub will hold a Public Policy Discussion on the draft Data Protection Regulations.   The deadline for comments is 27 April 2021.  Virtual public hearings on the three sets of Draft Regulations will be held on 27, 28 and 29 April 2021.

Draft Guidelines on Features and Technical Specifications for Mobile Cellular Devices Imported Into and Distributed in Kenya

On 23 March 2021, the Kenya Communications Authority (CA) published the Draft Guidelines on Features and Technical Specifications for Mobile Cellular Devices Imported Into and Distributed in Kenya for public consultation.  These Guidelines obligate vendors and manufacturers to ensure consumers buy mobile cellular devices that meet approved standards.  The deadline for comments is 24 April 2021.

Draft Revised Guidelines for the Implementation and Provision of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Services, 2021

On 30 March 2021, the CA published the Draft Revised Guidelines for the Implementation and Provision of Voice over Internet Protocol Services, 2021.  In a bid to stimulate innovation, enhance competition, offer consumers a range of telecommunication service choices, the CA has reviewed its existing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) guidelines developed in 2005. The deadline for comments was 9 April 2021.

Amendment of ICT Policy Guidelines, 2020

On 9 April 2021, the Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and Technology, Innovation and Youth Affairs gazetted an amendment to the National Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Policy Guidelines, 2020.  The amendment applied to the Equity Participation section.

Lesotho

Strategic Plan for 2020/21 to 2022/23

On 10 February 2021, the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) published its Strategic Plan for 2020/21 to 2022/23.

Liberia

Order on Universal Access Fund Regulations Promulgation

On 25 February 2021, the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) published the Order establishing the Universal Access Fund Regulations Promulgation.

Consultation Notice on the DTH Pricing Regulations

On 30 March 2021, the LTA published a Consultation Notice on the DTH Pricing Regulations; and the New Price for DTH Frequencies.  The deadline for comments is 16 April 2021.

Malawi

Communications (Commercial Television) Rules 2021

On 17 February 2021, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) published a Public Notice inviting written representations on Draft 1 of the Communications (Commercial Television) Rules 2021. The deadline for comments was 3 March 2021.

Second Draft Communications (Tariff) Regulations, 2021

On 9 April 2021, MACRA published the Second Draft Communications (Tariff) Regulations, 2021, as well as the stakeholder comments on Draft 1 of the Regulations and their responses and comments.

Consultation Document calling for comments on the Legal Review Report for Consultancy Services to Develop Draft Regulations for the Electronic Transactions and Cyber Security Act

On 13 April 2021, MACRA published the Consultation Document calling for comments on the Legal Review Report for Consultancy Services to Develop Draft Regulations for the Electronic Transactions and Cyber Security Act as well as a copy of the Legal Review Report prepared by Knowledge Consulting Ltd and Lisa Thornton Consulting.  The Legal Review Report identifies the regulations that are necessary and appropriate for the implementation of the Electronic Transaction and Cyber Security Act, 2016 (ETCA). The identification of the regulations to be drafted followed a process of literature review, namely of the Malawi Constitution and relevant policy and strategy documents and a detailed review of the provisions of the ETCA. Also informing the identification of the regulations to be drafted was a gap analysis of Malawian institutional frameworks, existing and anticipated, and a review of the regulation of electronic transactions and cyber security in selected jurisdictions.  According to the Consultation Document, the consultation process will close on 19 April 2021.

Draft Guidelines on Rules and Procedures for Conduct of Public Hearings

On 23 February 2021, MACRA published an Invitation for Comment on the Draft Guidelines on Rules and Procedures for Conduct of Public Hearings.  These Guidelines aim to provide a clear framework to guide MACRA and relevant stakeholders on the conduct and procedure of public hearings, and will apply for all public hearings conducted by MACRA.  The deadline for comments was 5 March 2021.

National Survey Report on Access and Use of ICT’s by Households and Individuals in Malawi, 2019

On 28 January 2021, the National Survey Report on Access and Use of ICT’s by Households and Individuals in Malawi 2019 was launched by the Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako. The survey was conducted by the MACRA and the National Statistics Office.  The survey collected information on access and use of ICT services and products such as phone, postal services, digital financial services, cyber security, electrical and electronic waste management and child online protection. Cyber security and electronic waste management are new topics which were not covered in the previous survey.  The report shows that the proportion of households across the country with a working television set was 11.6% with local TV stations viewership at 69.8%.  On viewership, 60.4% of individuals watch MBC TV while 58.7% watch Zodiak TV and 43.9% watch Times TV.

Revised National Numbering Plan and Draft Numbering Fee Schedule

On 2 March 2021, MACRA published the Draft National Numbering Fee Schedule and the revised National Numbering Plan.  On 4 March 2021, MACRA met with mobile network, telecommunication operators and value added service providers to present the revised National Numbering Plan and the Draft Numbering Fee Schedule before gazetting. The revised Numbering Plan is intended to facilitate harmonisation of calls to emergency and special services independent of where the call is originating from within the country, promote efficient management of National Electronic Numbering Resources, create equal access and enhance consumer protection.

Broadcast Frequency Allocation Plan, 2021

On 31 March 2021, MACRA published a Public Notice setting out the list of broadcasters and their new frequencies.  In 2018, a spectrum and frequency audit revealed saturation of the 87.5 to 108 MHz band rendering it incapable of accommodating new radio stations. MACRA consequently engaged broadcasters in re-planning the FM Band with the aim of managing congestion and interference among broadcasters.

Mauritius

Review of the Information and Communication Technologies (Universal Service Fund) Regulations

On 5 February 2021, the Information and Communications Technology Authority of Mauritius (ICTA) published the consultation document regarding the review of the Information and Communication Technologies (Universal Service Fund) Regulations. The deadline for comments was 26 February 2021.

Amendments to the First Schedule and to the Licensing and Fees Regulations

On 5 February 2021, ICTA published the consultation document regarding amendments to the First Schedule and to the Licensing and Fees Regulations. The deadline for comments was 26 February 2021.

Consultation Paper on Proposed Amendments to the ICT Act for Regulating the Use and Addressing the Abuse and Misuse of Social Media

On 14 April 20221, ICTA published the Consultation Paper on Proposed Amendments to the ICT Act for Regulating the Use and Addressing the Abuse and Misuse of Social Media in Mauritius. The deadline for comment is 5 May 2021.

Consultation Document on Draft Decision on the Opening of the 2500-2690 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz Frequency Bands for Operation of IMT Networks, including 5G

On 5 February 2021, ICTA published the Consultation Document on the Draft Decision on the Opening of the 2500-2690 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz Frequency Bands for Operation of IMT Networks, including 5G.  The deadline for comments was 26 February 2021. On 15 April 2021, ICTA published the Decision Document and the Compilation of Responses to the Consultation regarding the Draft Decision on the Opening of the 2500-2690 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz frequency bands for operation of IMT networks, including 5G.

Namibia

Regulations Prescribing Regulations on Reporting Obligations for Licensees

On 1 February 2021, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) gazetted the Regulations Prescribing Regulations on Reporting Obligations for Licensees. The objects of these Regulations are to (a) harmonise all data collection activities by the Authority; and (b) make provision for the method of collecting data through the data portal.

SIM Registration Regulations, 2021

On 26 March 2021, CRAN published the final SIM Registration Regulations, 2021, which were gazetted on 15 March 2021. The Regulations apply to all persons that render a telecommunications service or operates a telecommunications network.

Notice of Intention to make Regulations Prescribing Functions of Carriers in Respect of Installation and Maintenance of Telecommunications Facilities

On 26 March 2021, CRAN gazetted a Notice of Intention to make Regulations Prescribing Functions of Carriers in Respect of Installation and Maintenance of Telecommunications Facilities.  On 8 April 2021, CRAN re-gazetted the Notice – in the re-gazetted Notice, the Review and Consideration columns in the Consider of Comments section, which was left blank in the previous Notice, had now been completed.  The deadline for comments is 8 May 2021.

Nigeria

Report of the Public Inquiry on the National Roaming Guidelines, Collocation and Infrastructure Sharing Guidelines (as amended) and Business Rules on Active Infrastructure Sharing

On 18 January 2021, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) published its Final Report of the Public Inquiry on the National Roaming Guidelines, Collocation and Infrastructure Sharing Guidelines (as amended) and Business Rules on Active Infrastructure Sharing.

Guidelines on Collocation and Infrastructure Sharing, 2021

On 13 April 2021, the NCC published the final Guidelines on Collocation and Infrastructure Sharing, 2021.  The primary object of these Guidelines is to establish a framework within which access providers and access seekers can negotiate collocation and infrastructure sharing arrangements.

Guidelines on National Roaming in Nigeria, 2021

On 13 April 2021, the NCC published the final Guidelines on National Roaming in Nigeria, 2021.  The objective of these Guidelines is to prescribe a regulatory framework for the implementation of national roaming services in Nigeria.

Consultation Paper on Determination of Capital Structure for Licensees in the Communications Sector in Nigeria

On 8 February 2021, the NCC published a Consultation Paper on Determination of Capital Structure of Licensees in the Communications Sector in Nigeria.  The deadline for comments was 19 March 2021.

Nigeria Mobile Number Portability and Business Rules and Port Order Processes

On 8 February 2021, the NCC published the amended Nigeria Mobile Number Portability and Business Rules and Port Order Processes. This document sets out the business rules to manage the processes for porting mobile number(s) (MSISDN) between the Number Portability Clearinghouse and mobile service providers authorised by the NCC to provide mobile number portability services in Nigeria.

Study on the Impact of DND (Do Not Disturb) Service 2442 Short Code in Effective Telecoms Consumer Complaints Management

On 12 February 2021, the NCC published the Study on the Impact of DND (Do Not Disturb) Service 2442 Short Code in Effective Telecoms Consumer Complaints Management.  The purpose of the Research was to study the impact of DND service ‘2442’ short code in effective telecommunications consumer complaints management in Nigeria.  The aims and objectives of the study was to – (a) determine the impact of DND service ‘2442’ in effective telecoms consumer management; (b) identify the major consumer complaints in relation to DND service ‘2442’; (c) identify the total number of DND service ‘2442’ short code subscribers; (d) determine the effectiveness of DND service in consumer complaints management; and (e) know the level of awareness of DND service.

National Mobile Number Allocation, 2021 Q1

On 19 February 2021, the NCC published the National Mobile Number Allocations for the first quarter of 2021.

Standards National Numbering Plan, 2021 Q1

On 19 February 2021, the NCC published the Standard National Numbering Plan, for the first quarter of 2021.

Study on the Challenges and Survivability of ISP Licensees in the Nigerian Telecoms Sector

On 19 February 2021, the NCC published the Study on the Challenges and Survivability of ISP Licensees in the Nigerian telecommunications sector. The research is an exploratory study on the challenges and survivability of ISPs Licensees in the Nigerian telecommunications sector.

Challenges of Technology Penetration in an Infrastructure Deficit Economy (Nigeria Perspective)

On 19 February 2021, the NCC published the research paper on the Challenges of Technology Penetration in an Infrastructure Deficit Economy (Nigeria Perspective). The objectives of the study was to (a) establish the relationship between technology and economic development; (b) find out how Nigeria has fared in developing her economy through technology; (c) examine the factors that hinder technological development and penetration in Nigeria; and (d) offer strategies and policies for improving technological development as a prerequisite for enhancing Nigeria’s economic development.

Type Approval Pricing Scheme for Telecommunications Equipment

On 30 March 2021, the NCC published the new Type Approval Pricing Scheme for Telecommunications Equipment, which will come into effect from 1 July 2021.

Notice requesting the Submission of Year-End Network/Statistical Data Information for 2020

On 6 April 2021, the NCC published a Notice requesting the submission of Year-End Network/Statistical Data Information for 2020.  The deadline for submissions is 21 April 2021.

Rwanda

Draft Regulation Governing Postal, Courier and Delivery Services in Rwanda

On 8 February 2021, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) sent letters, with a copy of the Draft Regulation Governing Postal, Courier and Delivery Services in Rwanda, to postal and courier service operators, e-commerce platforms owners and e‑commerce delivery services companies, inviting them to a consultative meeting held on 19 February 2021, before submitting the final version of the Draft Regulations to the Regulatory Board for approval.

Draft Regulations Governing Subscription satellite Television Services in Rwanda

On 11 February 2021, RURA published the Draft Regulations Governing Subscription Satellite Television Services in Rwanda.  The purpose of these Regulations is to establish a licensing and regulatory framework, in Rwanda, for subscription satellite television services.

Draft Regulations Governing Must Carry Channel(s)

On 11 February 2021, RURA published the Draft Regulations Governing Must Carry Channel(s).  These Regulations shall establish a legal and regulatory framework on how subscription television services providers shall carry Must Carry channel (s) in Rwanda.

Regulations on Promotion by Telecommunication Operators

On 22 March 2021, RURA gazetted the Regulations on Promotion by Telecommunication Operators – No 001/R/CA-MCA/RURA/016 of 26/07/2016.  These Regulations establish a regulatory framework for telecommunication operators to promote services or products in a fair and competitive manner in Rwanda.

Statistics for Telecom, Media and Broadcasting Sector for the Fourth Quarter of 2020

On 24 March 2021, RURA published the Statistics for the Telecommunications, Media and Broadcasting Sector for the Fourth Quarter of 2020.  The Report compiles the information from telecommunications operators, 4G wholesaler, Internet Service Providers, media and broadcasting operators as per their license obligations for the period from 1 October to 31 December 2020.

South Africa

Proposed National Data and Cloud Policy

On 1 April 2021, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) published the Proposed National Data and Cloud Policy for comment. The Data and Cloud Policy seeks to strengthen the capacity of the State to deliver services to its citizens, ensure informed policy development based on data analytics, as well as promote South Africa’s data sovereignty and the security thereof.  The deadline for comments is 18 May 2021.

Public hearings: Draft Digital Sound Broadcasting Services Regulations, 2020

On 20 and 21 January 2021, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) held public hearings in respect of the Draft Digital Sound Broadcasting Services Regulations, 2020.  ICASA received 15 submissions in respect of this process, 13 of which indicated their willingness to make oral representations when ICASA conducted public hearings. The Draft Regulations were gazetted for public comment on 13 November 2020, and the deadline for comments was 8 January 2021.

Draft Amendment of the Customer Care Standards Regulations Applicable to Postal Service Licensees

On 26 February 2021, ICASA gazetted the Draft Amendment of the Customer Care Standards Regulations Applicable to Postal Service Licensees.  The deadline for comments is 5 May 2021.

Discussion Document on the Review of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (Advertising, Infomercials and Programme Sponsorship), Regulations, 1999

On 26 March 2021, ICASA gazetted the Discussion Document on the Review of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (Advertising, Infomercials and Programme Sponsorship), Regulations, 1999 for public comment.  The deadline for comments is 7 June 2021.

Review of Must Carry Regulations, 2008

On 26 March 2021, ICASA gazetted a Notice of Findings and Positions Document on the Review of the Must Carry Regulations 2008, the Draft Must Carry Amendment Regulations, 2021, as well as an Explanatory Memorandum on the Review of the ICASA Must Carry Regulations.  The deadline for comments is 21 May 2021.

Draft Mobile Broadband Services Regulations, 2021

On 26 March 2021, ICASA gazetted the Draft Mobile Broadband Services Regulations, as well as its Findings Document on the Mobile Broadband Services Inquiry.  The deadline for comments is 12 May 2021.

Draft Equipment Authorisation Regulations

On 31 March 2021, ICASA gazetted the Draft Equipment Authorisation Regulations.  The deadline for comments is 17 May 2021.

Sports Broadcasting Services Regulations Amendment, 2021 and Reasons Document

On 31 March 2021, ICASA gazetted the Sports Broadcasting Services Regulations Amendment, 2021 and Reasons Document.

Notice to Enforce the Regulations on the Use of Television Whitespaces, 2018

On 31 March 2021, ICASA gazetted the Notice to Enforce the Regulations on the Use of Television Whitespaces, 2018.

Regulations in respect of the Limitations of Control and Equity Ownership by Historically Disadvantaged Groups and the Application of the ICT Sector Code

On 31 March 2021, ICASA gazetted the final Regulations in respect of the Limitations of Control and Equity Ownership by Historically Disadvantaged Groups and the Application of the ICT Sector Code.

Municipal Elections Broadcasts and Political Advertisements Amendment Regulations, 2021

On 31 March 2021, ICASA gazetted the final Municipal Elections Broadcasts and Political Advertisements Amendment Regulations, 2021.

Code for Persons with Disabilities Regulations, 2021 and Reasons Document

On 9 April 2021, ICASA gazetted the final Code for Persons with Disabilities Regulations, 2021, and Reasons Document.  These Regulations will come into effect 18 months after publication in the Government Gazette.

Amendment Standard Terms and Conditions for Class Licences, 2021

On 25 March 2021, ICASA gazetted the Amendment Standard Terms and Conditions for Class Licences, 2021, which came into operation upon publication in the Gazette.

Class Licensing Processes and Procedures Amendment Regulations, 2021

On 26 March 2021, ICASA gazetted the Class Licensing Processes and Procedures Amendment Regulations, 2021, which came into operation upon publication in the Gazette.

Draft Price Cap Amendment Regulations for Reserved Postal Services, 2021

On 26 March 2021, ICASA gazetted the Draft Price Cap Amendment Regulations for Reserved Postal Services, 2021, as well as an Explanatory Note on the Review of the Price Cap Regulations for Reserved Postal Services.  The deadline for comments is 31 May 2021.

Notice of Moratorium on Applications in the Radio Frequency Spectrum bands Identified for IMT and the 3600 – 3800 MHz band

On 17 February 2021, ICASA published a Notice of Moratorium on Applications in the Radio Frequency Spectrum bands Identified for IMT and the 3600 – 3800 MHz band.  In light of the Moratorium, ICASA will not consider or and/or process any new applications for radio frequency spectrum assignments in the following radio frequency spectrum bands: a) 3600 to 3800 MHz; b) 4800 to 4990 MHz; c) 24.25 to 27.5 GHz; d) 37 to 43.5 GHz; e) 45.5 to 47 GHz; f) 47.2 to 48.2 GHz; and g) 66 to 71 GHz.  The Moratorium applies with immediate effect.

Invitation to Apply for Individual Broadcasting Licence and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence for the provisioning of commercial sound broadcasting services in the geographical market of the Northern Cape Province (Secondary Market)

On 22 February 2021, ICASA gazetted an Invitation To Apply for Individual Broadcasting Licence and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence for the provisioning of commercial sound broadcasting services in the geographical market of the Northern Cape Province (Secondary Market).  The deadline for comments is September 2021.

Invitation to Apply on Licensing Process for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) in respect of the Provision of Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Services for Urban and Rural Areas using complimentary bands IMT700, IMT800, IMT2600 and IMT3500

Pursuant to a High Court order in Telkom (eTV intervening) vs ICASA and Others Case Number 66778/2020 (8 March 2021), on 31 March 2021, ICASA gazetted a Notice suspending the closing date for the submission of applications for an Individual Electronic Communications Network Service (I‑ECNS) Licence and Radio Frequency Spectrum (RFS) Licence for the Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) until further notice.

Applications received by ICASA in response to an invitation to Pre-Register for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Community Television Broadcasting Service and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licences on Multiplex 1 (Mux 1) frequencies

On 26 March 2021, ICASA published the list of Applications received in response to its invitation to Pre-Register for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Community Television Broadcasting Service and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licences on Multiplex 1 (Mux 1) frequencies. Interested parties can lodge written representations in relation to the applications.  The deadline for comments is 30 April 2021.

Notice Inviting Interested Applicants to Participate in a Qualification Process to Operate as Secondary Geo-Location Service Provider

On 1 March 2021, ICASA gazetted a Notice inviting interested applicants to participate in a qualification process to operate as secondary geo-location service provider.

State of the ICT Sector Report in South Africa, 2021

On 31 March 2021, ICASA published the State of the ICT Sector Report in South Africa, 2021. The Report presents the performance and developments in the ICT sector, focusing on the three areas that are regulated by ICASA, namely: telecommunications, broadcasting and postal services.  The Report aims to provide up to date information to enable interested parties to make informed decisions on the ICT sector.

Notices regarding Increase of Administration Fees

On 1 April 2021, ICASA gazetted Notices regarding Increase of Administration Fees in respect of Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence Fees; Service Licence Fees and Type Approval.

Bi-Annual Tariffs Analysis Report for the period 1 July to 31 December 2020

On 31 March 2021, ICASA published Bi-Annual Tariffs Analysis Report for the period 1 July to 31 December 2020.  The Tariff Analysis Report aims to ensure that end-users (customers) are aware of the various prepaid retail tariffs in the telecommunications sector which were filed with the Authority during the period of 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020, as well as provide an update on initiatives which are currently underway to reduce the cost to communicate. This ensures that there is retail tariff transparency, which could potentially encourage competition as it is likely to minimise pricing and product information asymmetries in the sector.

Seychelles

Federal Trade Commission Surveys: Survey 1 – Broadband, Internet Services and Mobile Data Services and Survey 2 – Cable TV Services

On 25 March 2021, the Federal Trade Commission of the Seychelles published two Surveys – the first one for Broadband, Internet Services and Mobile Data Services; and the second one for Cable TV Services.  The deadline for responses to the surveys was 8 April 2021.

Tanzania

Public Consultation Document for Bundles, Promotion and Special Offers

On 10 February 2021, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) published the Consultation Document for Bundles, Promotion and Special Offers. This consultation aims to improve regulatory framework for the provision of telecommunications services offered as a bundle. The deadline for comments was 17 February 2021.

Public Consultation Document on Setting Rules for the Conditions, Offer and Promotion of Bundles for Telecommunications Services

On 10 February 2021, the TCRA published the Consultation Document on Setting Rules for the Conditions, Offer and Promotion of Bundles for Telecommunications Services.  This consultation aims to improve the management system of delivery of telecommunications services in bundles. The deadline for comments was 17 February 2021.

Technical Specifications for DOT TZ Central Registry Access

On 12 February 2021, the TCRA published its Technical Specifications for DOT TZ Central Registry Access. TCRA is the sponsoring entity delegated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to administer and manage the dot tz domain name registry. All accredited Registrars and prospective Registrars should use these technical specifications to connect to the Central Registry.

Uganda

Draft Uganda Communications Tribunal (Practice and Procedure) Regulations, 2020

On 1 February 2021, the Minister of Information, ICT and National Guidance, in consultation with the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), published a Request for Comments on the Draft Uganda Communications Tribunal (Practice and Procedure) Regulations, 2020.  The Regulations are intended to operationalize Part X of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013 and to provide for other incidental matters regarding the general operations of the Tribunal, including the practice and procedure before the Tribunal. The deadline for comments was 9 February 2021. On 16 February 2021, a webinar was held to discuss and consider the comments received from the different stakeholders.

Consultation on the Proposed Guidelines on Infrastructure Development and Sharing

On 3 March 2021, the UCC published the Proposed Guidelines on Infrastructure Development and Sharing for public consultation.  The objective of these Guidelines is to foster the efficient provision and utilisation of communications infrastructure by (a) encouraging a strategic, forward looking approach to the deployment and provision of communications facilities with the aim of realising the benefits of forward planning; (b) facilitating coordination and collaboration among the different stakeholders for joint construction, co-location, sharing, and access to existing networks and roll-out of new ICT infrastructure; (c) minimizing the amount and cost of civil works and associated social costs such as visual impacts, public nuisance, traffic congestion, and impacts on roads; and (d) promoting technical and market efficiency. The deadline for comments was 18 March 2021.

Market Performance Report, Q4 of 2020

On 9 April 2020, the UCC published the Market Performance Report for the 4th Quarter of 2020.  It reviews the industry performance, trends and key developments for the quarter starting October to December 2020.

Zambia

Consultation Paper on the Proposed Revisions to the ICT Licensing Framework

On 16 and 17 April 2021, the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) published Consultation Papers on the Proposed Revisions to the ICT Licensing Framework in Zambia.  The Consultation Papers were developed with a view of soliciting feedback from operators and other identified stakeholders on the apparent challenges and gaps in the current licensing framework. The deadlines for comment were 26 and 27 April 2021.

On 17 April 2021, ZICTA published a further Consultation Paper on the Proposed Revisions to the Licensing Framework for the ICT Sector in Zambia. The Consultation Paper indicates that the document seeks to get feedback from stakeholders on the proposed revisions to the current licensing framework and identify any observed challenges that may not have been clearly identified or addressed (in the 2020 review process), as well as gather proposals aimed at addressing any observed challenges. The deadline for comments is 27 April 2021.

MISA Zambia State of the Media Report Q4 2020

On 12 February 2021, MISA Zambia launched the State of the Media report for the fourth quarter of 2020.

Role of ZICTA’s Integrity Committee

On 26 February 2021, ZICTA published a document setting out the Role of its Integrity Committee. The purpose of the Committee is to enhance the effectiveness of corporate governance through corruption prevention best practices in liaison with various departments and units within the organisation.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector Annual Market Report for 2020

On 15 March 2021, ZICTA published the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector Annual Market Report for 2020 which demonstrates increased access and utilisation of ICT services in the country. Some of the key highlights from the report this year include a marked increase in active mobile telephone subscriptions from 17.2 million reported at the end of 2019 to 19.1 million subscriptions recorded at the end of 2020 reflecting an improvement of 10.9%. The total number of active internet subscriptions in the country also increased from 9.2 million subscriptions reported at the end of 2019 to 10.3 million recorded at the end of 2020 representing a growth rate of 11.8%.

ZICTA Lists of Licensees

On 22 March 2021, ZICTA published the list of –

  • ICT licences it has issued during 2020;
  • Licensed Postal and Courier Operators as at 31 December 2020; and
  • Licensed Electronic Communication Operators as at 31 December 2020.

Zimbabwe

Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (Registration, Accreditation and Levy) (Amendment) Regulations, 2021 (No. 1)

On 22 January 2021, the Zimbabwe Media Commission, with the approval of the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, published the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (Registration, Accreditation and Levy) (Amendment) Regulations, 2021 (No. 1), which amends the fees payable for accreditation of media practitioners/journalists and registration of media houses.

Broadcasting (Listener’s Licences) (Fees) Notice, 2021

On 22 January 2021, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings, with the approval of the Minister of Information and Publicity, published the Broadcasting (Listener’s Licences) (Fees) Notice, 2021, which repeals the Broadcasting (Listener’s Licences) (Fees) Notice, 2020.

National Broadband Plan (2020 – 2030)

On 18 March 2021, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe published the National Broadband Plan (2020 – 2030) for public consultation.  The purpose of the consultation paper is to solicit the views of stakeholders on policies and regulations that need to be developed or improved on, as well as strategies that should be employed to enable Zimbabwe to achieve universal broadband access at affordable prices, whilst at the same time ensuring its usability and palatability across all sectors of the economy regardless of social status for attainment of Vision 2030.. The deadline for comment was 31 March 2021.

Variation of Frequency Plan for Public Comment

On 11 April 2021, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) published a Public Consultation Notice on and the Proposed Variation of Frequency Plan for public comment.  The deadline for comments is 23 April 2021. The variation is at aimed addressing issues of universal access to information, Community concerns raised during the licensing process for Community Radio Stations, devolution of services to districts level and the demand for Community and Campus Radio Services.


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