South African watchdog considers spectrum boost for telecoms companies

- | 3 days ago

4:04 PM / Updated 17 hours agoSouth African watchdog considers spectrum boost for telecoms companiesNqobile Dludla 3 Min ReadJOHANNESBURG, March 25 (Reuters) - South Africa is considering giving telecoms companies increased spectrum, or airwave capacity, as millions of people switch to home working, testing networks and driving up data traffic, the communications minister said on Wednesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day national lockdown from midnight on Thursday in an address on Monday, saying Africa’s most advanced economy needed to escalate its response to the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected 709 people in the country. The telecoms industry, which is regulated by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), has experienced a spike in network data traffic in recent days after thousands of schools and universities were forced to shut down.

Telkom told Reuters that it is seeing increases of 15% to 30% in data consumption across mobile and fixed connectivity, while MTN Group said it was too early to quantify the surge in data traffic.

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