The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) has opened a public consultation inviting stakeholders to provide feedback on its proposals for 5G spectrum bands.
The regulator stated that the consultation was aimed at sharing “preliminary views and plans regarding the identified spectrum to facilitate for the early rollout and commercialisation of 5G as well as to encourage immediate capacity expansion of existing broadband systems.”
TeleGeography reports that by inviting feedback from stakeholders, ZICTA aims to learn more about operators’ plans for obtaining and using spectrum in order to gauge demand for the various spectrum bands that could be made available for 5G use. Respondents have until 20th August 2021 to submit their feedback.
The information gathered via the consultation will be factored into ZICTA’s spectrum planning and licensing decisions covering several areas – among them selecting priority bands for 5G, choosing an allocation strategy, identifying bandwidth requirements for operators, creating a planning process to prepare the selected bands for use, setting out a fair and transparent licensing process to suit each available band, gauging market demand, and setting out a 5G roadmap.
ZICTA has named the 700MHz, 2.6GHz, 3.5GHz and 26GHz bands as meeting “all requirements for low, mid and high band categories of spectrum required to meet 5G capacity and coverage requirement.” The regulator noted that 3.5GHz spectrum in particular had “emerged as a key focus for 5G” in several other countries, and accordingly the consultation asks stakeholders whether they consider this band to be “vital to 5G deployment in Zambia.”