Telecoms regulator the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has published a revised ‘5G Spectrum Roadmap’ setting out updated timelines for its planned release of spectrum in the 700MHz, 2600MHz and 26GHz bands. As per the updated roadmap for ‘high demand spectrum’, ZICTA revealed that 700MHz frequencies which had initially been expected to be released in the first quarter of 2023 will now be issued earlier, in Q3 2022. Meanwhile, the regulator also announced that a 40MHz block in the 2600MHz band that went unsold in its tender of 800MHz/2600MHz frequencies – which concluded last month – will now be reoffered in 3Q22. Finally, the regulator has announced that spectrum in the 26GHz band will be open for assignment on a first-come, first-serve basis in the fourth quarter of 2022; previously it had said it intended to offer these frequencies in 3Q22.
In a statement regarding the revised timelines, the ZICTA noted: ‘These critical changes to the roadmap are part of the urgent measures to improve competition in the ICT sector, promote investment and accelerate the extensive provision of services in underserved and unserved areas as well as improve the quality of electronic communication services for consumers in the country.’