The Director-General of POTRAZ has announced that mobile network operators will be allowed to access additional 3G and 4G frequencies at no cost.
Radio spectrum is a finite resource which is used for various radio-communication services which include cellular telephone operations and broadcast television stations.
During the Covid-19, Potraz will be assigning additional 3G (Third Generation Network) and LTE (Long Term Evolution) spectrum for free to cater for additional data demand. The authority has granted the spectrum up to December 2020 to three mobile operators to enable them to increase the capacity of their data offering
Whilst data released by POTRAZ earlier in the year showed that internet usage was actually on the decline, COVID-19 has forced schools and businesses to go online which has probably led to an upsurge in the use of mobile data. The pressure on existing spectrum can only be expected to increase if learning institutions adopt eLearning as they have been urged to do by the government.
POTRAZ availing the spectrum for a year is probably an indicator that after the crisis they expect demand for mobile data to stabilize which negates the need for mobile operators to continue tapping into the additional radio frequencies.
It’s also important to note that the impending launch (according to the government) of 12 new TV channels and 10 community radio stations will increase pressure on spectrum as these also utilise radiofrequency.