Weekly digest for 3 Sep 2021


This week’s main story is from Botswana, where the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has issued invitations to apply for High Demand Spectrum (HDS). The invitation includes spectrum in the 400Mhz, 800MHz, 2100MHz, 2600MHz and 3500MHz frequencies and has been divided into two categories: national and regional. Operators are obliged to cover 85% of the coverage area and offer capacity of 30Mbps. The regional licenses make this invitation really exciting: companies can apply for a regional license that covers a range of towns and areas. For each regional license, the coverage area is within 30km of that town or area. Within the regional licenses category, there is a special category that covers “smart digitalisation” of Botswana and allocates spectrum to the creation of smart cities and new technologies such as IoT and AI. The BOCRA approach looks to be one that other countries in Africa should consider, especially the creation of regional licenses.

  • Uganda: The Government is considering passing strict new social media laws to stop the transmission of fake and illicit information. The new law regulating social media is expected by the end of the year.
  • Tanzania: The Government has cut mobile money levies by 30% after an outcry by the public.
  • Botswana: Paratus Group is investing US$6 million in fibre rollout.
  • South Africa: ICASA has announced that the temporary allocation of HDS will end on the 30th of November. Operators are united in their opposition because the auction process, scheduled to be complete by 31 March of this year, has still be conducted.