The Presidential Working Committee on the Jobs Summit received a report from the country’s communications regulator on the auctioning of the spectrum. Photo: Pixabay

CAPE TOWN – The South African government expects to conclude the release of the new broadband spectrum by the first quarter of 2021, the Presidency said in a statement on its website.

The Presidential Working Committee on the Jobs Summit, which held its monthly meeting on Monday, received a report from the country’s communications regulator on the auctioning of the spectrum, “which is expected to be concluded in the first quarter of the 2021 financial year”, according to the statement.

Earlier this year the telecoms ministry said its priority was to increase opportunities for smaller companies.

Vodacom Group and MTN Group have repeatedly called for spectrum to continue rolling out broadband in the country and reduce data prices.

The Independent Communications Authority last month said that it would issue an information memorandum on the licensing process for the long-delayed high-spectrum by December.

The South African government has been heavily criticised for its failure to act swiftly on the spectrum, which has left South Africans footing hefty data bills for mobile data and cellphone operators out of the 5G race.

BUSINESS REPORT