We need our own 5G pol­icy


MIN­IS­TER of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Stella Nd­abeni-Abra­hams gave sev­eral talks at the re­cently held AfricaCom.

The big­gest tele­coms and tech­nol­ogy event took place in Cape Town. Nd­abeni-Abra­hams dis­cussed the role the gov­ern­ment was play­ing in the 4IR move­ment.

“One of the key en­ablers in the Fourth In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion is 5G. It is im­por­tant as a coun­try that we come up with our own 5G pol­icy. Icasa will in the next six months come back with a study on the ecosys­tem of the 5G so that by the time we li­cense, we know ex­actly what is it that we are deal­ing with and what we will ben­e­fit from it.

“We are mak­ing a com­mit­ment to this coun­try and the peo­ple in­vest­ing in it that we will not de­lay the li­cens­ing of 5G like we did with 4G.

“I’ve had to make sure I fol­low all the pro­cesses and I do con­sul­ta­tions to limit any prob­a­bil­i­ties of be­ing lit­i­gated (against), be­cause that has been what has been de­lay­ing the spec­trum process,” she said.

Nd­abeni-Abra­hams said she had to see and learn over the last seven years the work be­ing done in com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

“We have to have a 5G pol­icy. It is in my in­ter­est to grow the econ­omy, to lever­age in the 5G li­cens­ing and the tech­nolo­gies that will be utilised so that the peo­ple of this coun­try also get the eco­nomic sta­tus to change and be able to cre­ate jobs.”

She said the only way to make sure peo­ple were at the cen­tre was to pro­vide them with the skills they needed.

“We are here to look at the link­ages of the en­tire 4IR ecosys­tem.

“We should not fall into a trap of want­ing to iso­late 4IR to just tech­nolo­gies and spec­trum. We are a con­ti­nent that is great in telling sto­ries. How do we build on that to lever­age in 4IR tech­nolo­gies?

“We have de­vel­oped the dig­i­tal skills strat­egy which will be taken to the Cab­i­net for ap­proval.”

Nd­abeni-Abra­hams said higher ed­u­ca­tion needed to change the cur­ricu­lum.

“We want to hear from the in­dus­try what ef­forts they are putting in place to work with gov­ern­ment,” she said.

Nd­abeni-Abra­hams said the gov­ern­ment wanted to see ev­ery South African par­tic­i­pat­ing in the econ­omy, thereby nar­row­ing the in­equal­ity gap. | @mane_mpi

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