In relation to reducing the price of cell information in South Africa, crucial issue is the supply of spectrum.
That is in keeping with Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub, who was talking to MyBroadband in an interview following the current publication of the cell operator’s newest monetary outcomes.
ICASA is progressing by way of its upcoming spectrum public sale, which is able to see networks bidding on quite a lot of spectrum heaps in an effort to realize extra of this valuable useful resource and enhance their operational effectivity.
Joosub mentioned that the acquisition of further spectrum would assist Vodacom to scale back the price of producing information, due to this fact permitting it to make costs cheaper.
“I feel it’s a large number of various points, however it’ll assist to scale back the price of producing a GB of knowledge – that we’re positive of,” he mentioned.
“Now a part of it needs to be when will we get entry to the spectrum? As a result of bear in mind even when the public sale occurs, the digital migration hasn’t occurred.”
Digital migration refers back to the migration from analogue broadcasting indicators utilizing spectrum in decrease frequency ranges to a digital sign, which is essential for enhancing cell protection at a diminished value.
“There may be that piece as nicely – so you’re going to get some aid on 2.6GHz and three.5GHz, however you want the 700MHz and 800MHz spectrum that may present main aid.”
Battery prices affect cell information costs
Joosub mentioned that spectrum just isn’t the one necessary think about dropping cell information costs, nonetheless – South Africa’s lack of energy stability can be a significant affect on the associated fee to hold information.
“Entry to spectrum goes a great distance by way of serving to, however issues like energy safety are additionally necessary,” he mentioned.
“I imply simply to place it into perspective, we spent R1 billion on batteries within the final six months, which we shouldn’t be doing.”
“That’s simply to make sure that folks’s networks can keep up when we now have rolling blackouts,” he mentioned.
South Africa has had its worst 12 months for load-shedding but, regardless of the diminished demand on account of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Criminals have additionally taken to stealing growing numbers of batteries from cell base stations, requiring networks to switch this infrastructure.
This implies cell networks have been compelled to purchase new batteries regularly, which pushes up their value of carrying information.
“I feel we additionally want to take a look at a few of these prices,” Joosub mentioned. “I feel energy is extraordinarily necessary and provides a further value, however spectrum clearly performs the largest position in a community of the price of information.”