JOHANNESBURG – Fitch Solutions, a unit of the Fitch Group, warned yesterday that it expected additional delays to the formation and time to market of the Wireless Open Access Network (Woan) in South Africa, owing to a lengthy vetting and licensing process for applicants.
The firm said in a research note that these delays would weigh on the speed with which operators would be able to acquire spectrum not assigned to the Woan, and begin to ease pressure on their networks.
“Moreover, we believe that the spectrum allocation process faces the risk of significant delays owing to factors such as stringent local ownership and empowerment requirements for the consortium to make up the Woan, which may limit the pool – and experience – of potential licensees,” Fitch Solutions said.
“Moreover, players are likely to be wary of the state's involvement in the venture, owing to widespread instances of mismanagement of key state-owned institutions.”
Reserve Bank deputy governor Kuben Naidoo last week said allocating new broadband spectrum could have an immediate boost on the country's ailing economy and reduce the levels of unemployment.