This e-bulletin highlights key legislative and regulatory developments in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors in sub-Saharan Africa. This issue covers the period 16 July to 15 October 2020 includes developments in Botswana, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.
Expression of Interest of Radio Frequency Spectrum in the Frequency Band 2300-2400MHz
On 22 July 2020, the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) published an Expression of Interest of Radio Frequency Spectrum in the Frequency Band 2300 to 2400MHz. BOCRA invited operators who possess a Network Facility Provider (NFP) Licence in Botswana to express interest in the use of 60MHz frequency spectrum available in the 2300 – 2400MHz band for fixed wireless access connectivity. BOCRA intends to assign 40MHz for national coverage, allocated at 20MHz per operator, and 20MHz for regional coverage, at a minimum of 5MHz per regional licence. The deadline for the expression of interest was 31 July 2020.
Consultation Paper on the Introduction of the .me.bw, .agric.bw, .shop.bw to the .bw namespace
On 10 September 2020, BOCRA published a Consultation Paper on the Introduction of the .me.bw, .agric.bw, .shop.bw to the .bw namespace. The main objective of creating the second level domain names is to guide users as they browse the internet on the type or line of business the entity which has registered the domain name. The deadline for comments and feedback on the proposal was 30 September 2020.
Type approval renewal process cessation
In September 2020, BOCRA published a public notice (effective 30 July 2020) notifying the public of the cessation of the renewal of type approval certificates. BOCRA will, going forward, issue type approval certificates with no expiry dates. Entities who possess type approval certificates with an expiry date must request to be issued a new certificate without an expiry date, if they wish to continue distributing the equipment. Requests must be made 3 months before the date of expiry of the type approval certificate.
Draft Broadcasting Code
On 28 July 2020, the Eswatini Communications Commission (ESCCOM) invited comments on the Draft Eswatini Communications Commission Broadcasting Code Part 1. The Code sets out conduct expected of broadcasters when delivering their services to viewers and listeners. It highlights expected standards for advertising, watershed, programme sponsorship, local content, accessibility to broadcasting services by persons with disabilities, privacy and copyright issues. The deadline for comments was 28 August 2020.
Eswatini Communications Commission (Postal and Courier Services) Licensing Guidelines, 2020.
On 6 October 2020, ESCCOM published the Eswatini Communications Commission (Postal and Courier Services) Licensing Guidelines, 2020. The Guidelines are aimed at regulating the postal and courier services, setting out the legal and administrative process for the licensing of postal and courier services and guiding and clarifying the scope of the postal sector in Eswatini.
National Frequency Allocation Plan, 2020
On 15 October 2020, ESCCOM published the National Frequency Allocation Plan, 2020, which provides information on frequency allocation for electromagnetic spectrum between 8.3 KHz and 100 GHz.
Draft Telecommunications Interconnection Directive and Draft Telecommunications Infrastructure Sharing and Collocation Directive
On 3 August 2020, the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) published the Draft Telecommunications Interconnection Directive and Draft Telecommunications Infrastructure Sharing and Collocation Directive for public comment. The purpose of these directives are to provide a framework to govern interconnection agreements and provide a framework to govern infrastructure sharing and collocation agreements, respectively. On 23 August 2020, the ECA reissued updated versions of these Directives, which incorporated comments it received from stakeholders since it first issued the Directives on 3 August 2020. The deadline for comments was 12 September 2020.
Draft Lawful Tariffs Directive, Draft Competition Directive, and Draft SIM Card Registration Directive
On 24 August 2020, the ECA published three draft directives for stakeholder consultation, namely the Lawful Tariffs Directive, Competition Directive and SIM Card Registration Directive for public comment. The following are some of the stated purposes of these draft directives:
Lawful Tariffs Directive – to provide clarity on the rules and procedures that the ECA will follow to assess the lawfulness of tariffs, intervene on set tariffs, or review the tariffs of any telecommunications operator.
Competition Directive – to provide a framework to define the relevant market and determine whether a telecommunications operator has significant market power in the relevant market, provide a framework for determining if a telecommunications operator has engaged in anticompetitive conduct, and provide for the review of mergers and acquisitions affecting telecommunications operators.
Sim Card Registration Directive – to provide a regulatory framework for the registration of SIM Card users, and for the control, administration and management of the National Subscriber Registry managed by the ECA.
The deadline for comments on these draft directives was 15 September 2020.
Draft Mobile Number Portability Directive, Telecommunications Wholesale National Roaming Directive, Universal Access and Service Framework, and Universal Access Fund Regulation
On 11 October 2020, the ECA published the draft Mobile Number Portability Directive, Telecommunications Wholesale National Roaming Directive, Universal Access and Service Framework, and Universal Access Fund Regulation for public comment. The following are some of the stated purposes of these draft documents:
Mobile Number Portability Directive – to provide a regulatory framework for the seamless operation of mobile number portability, ensure a fair process for number portability, establish a National Portability Clearinghouse.
Telecommunications Wholesale National Roaming Directive – to provide a framework to govern Wholesale National Roaming Service agreements between telecommunications operators, and to provide clarity on the rules the ECA will follow to regulate wholesale national roaming agreements.
Universal Access and Service Framework – to provide a five year plan to inform the public and all stakeholders about the key aspects, considerations and principles that the ECA will uphold in promoting universal access and administering the Universal Access Fund.
Universal Access Fund Regulation – to put in place a regulatory framework for the design and implementation of universal access and service provisions and for the administration of the Universal Access Fund.
The deadline for comments on these draft documents is 30 October 2020.
Public Consultation on Guidelines for the Deployment of Communications Towers (Revised), 2020
On 21 September 2020, the National Communications Authority (NCA) published a notice that it is in the process of reviewing the Guidelines for the Deployment of Communications Towers. The purpose of the review is to include emerging industry standards and procedures for the installation of communication towers, facilitate the development of infrastructure to enhance the delivery of quality service and address the issue of environmental sanity. The deadline for comments is 23 October 2020.
National Information Communications and Technology (ICT) Policy Guidelines, 2020
On 7 August 2020, the Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications, Technology, Innovation and Youth Affairs gazetted the National Information Communications and Technology Policy Guidelines, 2020. This Policy is designed to realise the potential of the digital economy by creating an enabling environment for all citizens and stakeholders.
Draft Digital Economy Strategy for Kenya
On 10 August 2020, the Ministry of Information, Communications, Technology, Innovation and Youth Affairs published the Draft Digital Economy Strategy for Kenya. The Strategy will guide the country in the adoption and adaption of new technologies to reap the benefits presented by digital transformation thus ensuring that no-one is left behind. Comments were initially due by 28 August 2020, but on 1 September 2020, the Ministry extended the deadline for comments to 30 September 2020.
Proposed Income Tax (Digital Service Tax) Regulations, 2020
On 7 August 2020, the Kenya Revenue Authority published the Revised Proposed Income Tax (Digital Service Tax) Regulations, 2020 for public comment. The Regulations prescribe, among others, the scope of taxable services details on circumstances under which the digital services tax will be applied. Comments on the proposed regulations were due by 24 August 2020.
Procedures and Guidelines for the Management and Administration of Telecommunications Numbering Resources
On 29 July 2020, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) published the Procedures and Guidelines for the Management and Administration of Telecommunications Numbering Resources. These Guidelines became operational from 1 September 2020, and will also replace the existing Procedures and Guidelines for the Management and Administration of Short Codes and Premium Rate Numbers, 2012.
Recognition of Foreign Electronic Certification Service Providers
On 1 September 2020, the CA published a Public Notice regarding the Recognition of Foreign Electronic Certification Service Providers. All foreign electronic certification providers were required to apply to the CA for recognition by 1 October 2020.
Draft Consumer Protection Guidelines
On 8 September 2020, the CA published a Public Notice regarding its Public Consultation on the Draft Consumer Protection Guidelines. The Guidelines seek to, among others, prescribe minimum standards of customer care and ensure that critical information is made available to customers by licensed service providers. The deadline for comments was 15 October 2020.
Proposed Amendments to Lesotho Communications Authority (Administrative) Rules, No. 77 of 2016
On 24 July 2020, the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) published a notice indicating its intention to the LCA (Administrative) Rules No.77 of 2016, by removing the requirement, at Rule 3(2), that individual licences be applied for on invitation. The objective of this amendment is to facilitate easy entry into communications market in Lesotho by allowing all categories of licences to be applied for at any time without need for invitation from the Authority. The closing date for comments was 21 August 2020.
Proposed Promulgation of the Lesotho Communications Authority (Internet Broadcasting) Rules, 2020
On 2 October 2020, the LCA published a notice indicating its intention to promulgate the Lesotho Communications Authority (Internet Broadcasting) Rules, 2020. The objective of the proposed Rules is to make provision for regulation of internet broadcasting and content distributed over the internet. The deadline for comments is 29 October 2020.
Data Protection (Fees) Regulations, 2020
On 20 July 2020, the Data Protection Office published a communique on the Data Protection (Fees) Regulations, 2020, which sets out the new fees for registration of controllers and processors. The Regulations came into effect on 1 August 2020. All controllers and processors will be required to make a fresh registration as from 1 August 2020 in accordance with the new Regulations.
Access to Information Act
The Access to Information Act, 2017 came into effect on 30 September 2020. The Act sets out a framework for the public to have access to information held by, among others, public institutions, institutions or organisations in which Government holds shares, non‑governmental organisations constituted for public benefit purpose, commissions established under the Constitution or any Act of Parliament, and organisations contracted by Government to do work for the Government.
Draft Type Approval Regulations, 2020
On 22 July 2020, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) published the Draft Type Approval Regulations 2020 for comment. The Regulations are aimed at streamlining the type approval framework, protecting the integrity of public networks, protecting the interests of suppliers and consumers of electronic communications services, avoid harmful interference with other communications systems and prescribe the fee structure for equipment type approval. The deadline for comment was 24 August 2020.
Draft Communications (Fault Handling) Regulations, 2020
On 24 August 2020, MACRA published the Draft Communications (Fault Handling) Regulations 2020. The draft Regulations are aimed at promoting speedy recovery of network outages, improving fault handling processes for all communications services licensees in Malawi, harmonising the fault handling process among communications service licensees and avail MACRA with fault statistics for its regulatory function. The deadline for comments was 23 September 2020.
Revised Numbering Plan and Proposed Numbering Fees
On 14 August 2020, MACRA published an invitation for written representations on the Revised Numbering Plan and Proposed Numbering Fees. The Numbering Plan is being revised to align with global changes in the electronic communications industry such as M2M communications, the internet of things, over-the-top (OTTs) and other services that have been facilitated by fourth-generation networks and the futuristic 5G/6G technologies. MACRA also intends to introduce fees on the assignment of numbers. The deadline for comments was 14 September 2020.
Stakeholder Consultations on Proposed Universal Service Fund Projects for the year 2020/21
On 4 August 2020, MACRA published a notice regarding its Stakeholder Consultations on Proposed Universal Service Fund Projects for the year 2020/21. MACRA has developed project concepts for the improvement of infrastructure in the broadcasting, postal and telecommunications sectors. The projects are aimed at addressing inadequacies of infrastructure in the rural and underserved areas. The project concepts are as follows: (i) Rural Telephony Project, which seeks to improve mobile signal coverage in rural and non-commercially underserved areas; (ii) Broadcasting signal coverage, which seeks to increase reach and coverage of radio signal to the rural and non-commercially underserved areas; (iii) Mail conveyance Project, which seeks to promote access to postal and courier services in the rural and underserved areas; (iv) Public WI-FI Project, which seeks to make broadband services accessible, available and affordable in the non-commercially underserved areas; (v) Connectivity for Persons with Disability Project, which seeks to promote internet access and usage of assistive technologies for persons with disabilities; (vi) School Connectivity Project, which seeks to promote internet access and usage in the public secondary schools. The deadline for comments was 28 August 2020.
Draft Competition Bill
On 20 August 2020, the Namibian Competition Commission published the Draft Competition Bill for comment. The Bill intends, among others, to reconfigure the Namibian Competition Commission’s structures and powers, establish the Competition Adjudicative Panel, clarify the distinction between restrictive horizontal and vertical practices, deal with abuse of dominance and merger control. Comments were initially due by 25 September 2020, but on 29 September 2020, the deadline for comments was extended to 30 October 2020.
National Broadband Policy
On 14 August 2020, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) gazetted the National Broadband Policy. The Policy is intended to guide Namibia in the implementation of broadband for the benefit of all citizens. It applies to all ICT matters related to broadband including the mainstreaming and embedding of broadband into all sectors of Namibia’s economy.
Review and Consolidation of ICT Policy
On 2 September 2020, CRAN published a stakeholder invitation from the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology on the review of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy. As part of the review process, the Ministry developed a review matrix tool to be completed by stakeholders to determine the extent to which the Policy objectives have been implemented. The deadline for comments was 11 September 2020.
Proposed Frequency Band Plan of Namibia
On 2 October 2020, CRAN gazetted a Notice of its Intention to Propose a Frequency Band Plan for Namibia, which sets out planned allocations for frequency spectrum in Namibia for spectrum band from 8.3 kHz to 3000 GHz. The table is similar to the table set out by the ITU in its Radio Regulations based on the outcomes of WRC-19 and the 2020 SADC Frequency Allocation Plan The deadline for comments is 2 November 2020.
Public Hearing on the Market Study on Determination of Dominance Position in the Telecommunications Sector
On 29 July 2020, CRAN held public hearings on the Market Study on Determination of Dominance Position in the Telecommunications Sector.
Notice of intention to make Regulations Prescribing Reporting Obligations for Licensees
On 31 July 2020, CRAN gazetted a Notice of Intention to make Regulations Prescribing Reporting Obligations for Licensees. The objects of the proposed Regulations are to (a) establish an integrated reporting framework within which holders of telecommunications licenses, broadcasting licenses and postal licenses must submit information required by the Authority to discharge its regulatory functions under the Act; and (b) harmonise data collection activities of the Authority. The deadline for comments was 31 August 2020.
Notice of intention to amend the Regulations Prescribing Procedures Regarding Application for, and Amendment, Renewal, Transfer and Cancellation of Spectrum Licences
On 28 September 2020, CRAN gazetted a Notice of Intention to Amend the Regulations Prescribing Procedures Regarding Application for, and Amendment, Renewal, Transfer and Cancellation of Spectrum Licences. The objects of the proposed amendment to the Regulations are to (a) to allow for the publication in the Gazette and public comments on applications for amendment of spectrum licenses, amendments to spectrum licenses done by the Authority as well as the withdrawal of spectrum licenses; and (b) replace the table for spectrum licence exempt spectrum in Annexure B to incorporate the final Act of WRC-19 and align with the SADC SRD guidelines. The deadline for comments is 28 October 2020.
Notice of Intention to make Regulations Prescribing Functions of Carriers in respect of Installation and Maintenance of Telecommunications Facilities
On 7 October 2020, CRAN gazetted a Notice of Intention to make Regulations Prescribing Functions of Carriers in respect of Installation and Maintenance of Telecommunications Facilities. The draft Regulations seek to, among others, set out the manner, from and period of notice to be given by a carrier to a land owner in connection with installation or maintenance of telecommunications facilities, and sets out the procedure to be followed and consultation to be held between the carrier and the land owner. The deadline for comments is 9 November 2020.
Notice of Intention to make Regulations Prescribing Licence Fees and Regulatory Levies
On 9 October 2020, CRAN gazetted a Notice of Intention to make Regulations Prescribing Licence Fees and Regulatory Levies. The draft Regulations set out the proposed licence fees (for licence application, grant/issue, renewal, transfer and amendment) and the regulatory levy payable by licensees. The deadline for comments is 9 November 2020.
Regulations Setting Out Fees for Spectrum Licences, Certificates and Examinations
Following public hearings on 29 July 2020, on 14 October 2020, CRAN’s gazetted the Regulations Setting Out Fees for Spectrum Licences, Certificates and Examinations. With effect from 1 January 2021, these Regulations repeals the Regulations Setting Out Fees for Spectrum Licences, Certificates and Examinations, which were published under General Notice No. 155 of 1 June 2017.
Guidelines on Implementation of an accounting separation framework for the Nigerian Telecoms Industry
On 22 July 2020, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) published the Determination on Accounting Separation for the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry (dated 8 July 2020). Individual licensees are required to submit their regulatory financial statements in line with the accounting separation framework set out in the Determination.
Frequency Spectrum Licence General Conditions
On 23 July 2020, the NCC published the Frequency Spectrum Licence General Conditions, which sets out the general terms and conditions for frequency spectrum licences.
Determination of USSD Pricing (Amended)
On 4 August 2020, the NCC published the Amended Determination of USSD Pricing (dated 24 July 2020). In terms of the Determination, MNOs must not charge customers directly for the use of USSD channels for financial services in the form of end-user billing. The transaction should be between the MNOs and the entity to which the service is provided. All billings by MNOs for Financial Service using USSD code assigned to FSPs must thereby be implemented via a Corporate Billing model.
Draft Data Protection Bill, 2020
On 19 August 2020, the National Identity Management Commission published the Draft Data Protection Bill, 2020 for comment. The Bill seeks to, among others, establish a regulatory framework for the protection of personal data and sets out the basic principles and legal bases for processing personal data. The Bill also seeks to establish the Data Protection Commission, which will enforce compliance with the Bill. The deadline for comments was 10 September 2020. A one-day validation workshop took place on Monday 14 September 2020.
Statistics for Telecom, Media and Broadcasting Sector as at Second Quarter of 2020
On 25 August 2020, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) published the Statistics for Telecom, Media and Broadcasting Sector Report as at the Second Quarter of 2020.
Draft Regulation Governing Electronic Communication Licensing Framework
On 24 September 2020, RURA published the Draft Regulation Governing Electronic Communication Licensing Framework. The purpose of this Regulation is to provide a regulatory framework for efficient licensing, processes and procedures in the information communication industry.
ICT Sector Performance Report as at the end of June 2020
On 26 August 2020, the Department of Information Communications Technology released the Data and Statistics relating to the performance of the ICT sector as at the end of June 2020.
Code of Advertising Practice Review 2020
On 31 August 2020, the Advertising Regulatory Board invited suggestions for changes to the Code of Advertising Practice. The deadline for comments is 30 October 2020.
Notice in terms of Regulation 3(7) of the Regulations on Collecting Societies, June 2006 (Copyright Act, 1978 and Performers Protection Act, 1967)
On 7 August 2020, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition gazetted a notice of the non-renewal of Independent Music Performance Rights Association’s (IMPRA) accreditation to act as a representative Collecting Society by Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
Invitation to Provide Written Comments on Proposed Policy and Policy Direction on Rapid Deployment of Electronic Communications Networks and Facilities
On 22 July 2020, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) gazetted an Invitation to Provide Written Comments on Proposed Policy and Policy Direction on Rapid Deployment of Electronic Communications Networks and Facilities. The purpose of the proposed Policy is to direct the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to prescribe regulations on procedures and processes for resolving disputes that may arise between an electronic communications network service licensee and any landowner, in order to satisfy the public interest in the rapid rollout of electronic communications networks and electronic communications facilities. The deadline for comments was 3 September 2020.
Draft ICT and Digital Economic Masterplan for South Africa
On 31 July 2020, the DCDT published a Draft ICT and Digital Economic Masterplan for South Africa. This Masterplan provides a blueprint and the inception stages for developing this national priority of digital empowerment.
Draft Films and Publications Amendment Regulations, 2020
On 28 August 2020, the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies extended the deadline for submissions on the Draft Films and Publications Amendment Regulations, 2020 to 12 October 2020. The draft Regulations were gazetted for public comment on 3 July 2020 and the initial closing date for submissions was 17 August 2020.
Nominations of Candidates to be appointed to the Films and Publications Board Council
On 2 October 2020, the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies published an advertisement for nominations from the public for suitable potential candidates to be appointed to the Films and Publications Board Council. The deadline for nominations is 30 October 2020.
Nominations for Persons to Serve on Marketing, Advertising and Communications Charter Council.
On 3 September 2020, the DCDT gazetted an invitation calling for nominations for persons to serve as non‑executive members of the Marketing, Advertising and Communications (MAC) Charter Council. The deadline for nominations was 15 September 2020.
National Digital and Future Skills Strategy South Africa
On 23 September 2020, the DCDT published the National Digital and Future Skills Strategy South Africa. The Strategy sets out a structured series of initiatives intended to contribute to the capacities of South Africans to meet the challenges arising from the increasing deployment and adoption of digital technologies in economy and society. The DCDT will develop a five-year comprehensive Digital and Future Skills Implementation programme and will revise and update the Strategy through a formal public consultation process every five years.
Draft White Paper on Audio and Audiovisual Content Services Policy Framework: A New Vision for South Africa 2020
On 9 October 2020, the DCDT published the Draft White Paper on Audio and Audiovisual Content Services Policy Framework: A New Vision for South Africa 2020. This Draft White Paper seeks to create an enabling environment for the provision of inclusive audio and audiovisual content services (AAVCS) to all South Africans in a manner that promotes social- economic development and investment. The deadline for comments is 30 November 2020.
Harmonisation of Short Codes for National Emergency Services
On 27 July 2020, ICASA gazetted a notice of its intention to harmonise one of the following short codes: 103; 104; 105; 106; 118; and 139 for COVID-19 national emergency services. Comments were due on 5 August 2020 (7 working days from the date of the notice). The notice followed an earlier notice of 15 April 2020, in which ICASA indicated that it would harmonise and mandate the short code “111” for COVID‑19 national emergency services. ICASA subsequently became aware that the “111” short code was being used by Vodacom customers to access Vodacom’s customer care centres. On 23 September, ICASA, by notice, mandated the short code “139” for the national emergency services.
Draft Code for Persons with Disabilities Regulations
On 24 July 2020, the ICASA extended the deadline for submissions on the Draft Code for Persons with Disabilities Regulations to 14 August 2020. The draft Regulations were published on 12 June 2020 and submissions were initially due by 24 July 2020.
Notice Regarding Commencement Date of the Regulations on the Use of Television White Spaces, 2018
On 17 August 2020, ICASA gazetted the commencement date of the Regulations on the Use of Television White Spaces, 2018. The commencement date is 1 April 2021.
Request for Submissions with respect to the International Telecommunications Regulations Review
On 18 August 2020, ICASA published a Request for Submissions with respect to the third meeting of the Expert Group on International Telecommunications Regulations (EG-ITRs). Stakeholders are requested to conduct a provision by provision examination of the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), specifically in relation to Articles 5 – 8 and Appendix 1, as per the Examination Table. The deadline to submit the requested information was 1 September 2020.
Applications received in respect of the Invitation to Pre-Register for Community Sound Broadcasting Service Licences
On 1 October 2020, ICASA gazetted the details of all applications received. Interested parties were invited to submit written representations on the applications received by 21 October 2020.
Notice to Extend the Closing Date and An Erratum in respect of Invitation to Pre‑Register for Digital Community Television Broadcasting Service and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licences on Multiplex 1 (Mux 1) Frequencies
On 2 October 2020, ICASA gazetted a Notice to Extend the Closing Date and an Erratum. ICASA extended the closing date for applications to 15 January 2021, and issued an erratum to include the other omitted frequencies.
Composite Invitation to Apply for an Individual Electronic Communications Network Service Licence and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence for the Wireless Open Access Network
On 2 October 2020, ICASA gazetted a Composite ITA for an Individual Electronic Communications Network Service Licence and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence for the Wireless Open Access Network. The deadline for applications is 30 March 2021.
Invitation to Apply Notice on Licensing Process for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) in respect of the Provision of Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Services for Urban and Rural Areas using complimentary bands IMT700, IMT800, IMT2600 and IMT3500
On 2 October 2020, ICASA gazetted an Invitation to Apply Notice on Licensing Process for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) in respect of the Provision of Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Services for Urban and Rural Areas using complimentary bands IMT700, IMT800, IMT2600 and IMT3500. The deadline for applications is 28 December 2020.
The Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations, 2020
On 30 July 2020, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) published the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations, 2020. These Regulations apply to online content service providers, internet service providers, application services licensees, online content users and any other related online content.
Electronic Communications Equipment authorised by the TCRA
On 6 August 2020, the TCRA published a list of the electronic communications equipment approved, between April and June 2020, for use in Tanzania.
Political Party Elections Broadcasts Code, 2020
On 18 September 2020, the TCRA published the Political Party Elections Broadcasts Code, 2020.
Guidelines on the Use of Private Automatic Branch Exchange (PABX)
On 27 September 2020, the TCRA published the Guidelines on the Use of Private Automatic Branch Exchange (PABX). This Guidelines describe the procedures and guidelines governing the management of PABX and provision of fixed services to PABX through E1 and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) connections.
Market Performance Report, 1Q and 2Q 2020
On 19 August 2020, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) published the Market Performance Report for the 1st Quarter of 2020. On 12 October 2020, the UCC published the Market Performance Report for the 2nd Quarter of 2020. These Reports are a review of the industry performance, trends and key developments for the quarters from January to March 2020 and from April to June 2020. The analysis in the Report for the second quarter has also tried to pay special focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the market.
UCC Reminder to Providers of Online Data Communication and Broadcasting Services to obtain Authorisation
On 7 September 2020, the UCC published a Public Notice reminding providers of online data communication and broadcasting services to obtain authorisation. In terms of the notice, all persons currently offering or planning to commence the provision of online data communication and broadcasting services (including but not limited to blogs, online televisions, online radios, online newspapers, audio over IP (AoIP), Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), Video on Demand (VoD), Digital Audio radios and televisions, internet/web radio and internet/web television) to obtain authorisation from UCC before providing such services to the public. All persons engaged in the provision of these services were advised to regularise their operations by obtaining the necessary authorisation from the UCC by 5 of October 2020.
Revised Application Guidelines for Telecoms Sectors
On 5 October 2020, the UCC published the Revised Application Guidelines for the Telecoms Sectors. The Guidelines set out the licence application requirements for new telecommunications licences.
Draft Data Protection and Privacy Regulation, 2020
On 20 August 2020, the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance published the Draft Data Protection and Privacy Regulations following the enacting of the Law in March 2019 by the President of the Republic of Uganda. The Ministry invited comments from the public. A consultative webinar was held on 25 August 2020.
Directive on Sale of SIM Cards to Corporate Bodies
On 16 October 2020, the UCC issued a Directive on the Sale of SIM Cards to Corporate Bodies. In the Directive, the UCC lifted the suspension on the sale of SIM Cards to unnatural persons, which it issued on 26 June 2020. The Directive sets out the requirements for the registration and/or sale of SIM Cards to unnatural persons, including companies, non-governmental organisations, trusts, Ministries, Government Departments, Government Agencies, Embassies, Foreign Mission and Consulates.
ICT Sector 2020 Mid-Year Market Performance Report
On 11 September 2020, the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) released its ICT Sector 2020 Mid-Year Performance Report. The Report highlights global and national developments in the ICT sector over the first half of 2020.
Tender Notification: Request for Applications for Spectrum in the 800MHz Band
On 21 September 2020, ZICTA published a Tender Notification Request for Spectrum in the 800MHz band. The closing date is 30 October 2020.
Zanzibar Information Communication Technology Infrastructure Agency Act
On 3 July 2020, the President assented to the Zanzibar Information Communication Technology Infrastructure Agency Act 15 of 2020. This is an Act to Establish the Zanzibar Information Communication Technology Infrastructure Agency and to make provisions for providing ICT infrastructure services and other matters connected therewith.
Draft Domain Name System Framework
On 1 September 2020, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) published the Draft Domain Name System Framework for public comment. This document sets out the framework for the management, administration, registration and delegation of the second-level Domain Names under .zw cTLD. The document is a living document and will be updated from time to time by POTRAZ. The deadline for comments is 31 October 2020.
Free-to-Air National Commercial Television Licence Public Inquiry
On 24 September 2020, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) published the dates for the Free-to-Air National Commercial Television Licence Public Inquiry. The Public Inquiry will be conducted virtually and run from Monday 12 to Wednesday 21 October 2020.
Finance Bill [H.B. 4] 2020
On 28 August 2020, the Finance Bill [H.B. 4] 2020 was gazetted. The Bill propose amending Clause 10 of Chapter I of Finance Act [Chapter 23:04] as follows: Section 12A of the Income Tax Act provides for taxation of certain income deemed to be from a source within Zimbabwe, namely, the taxation of radio and television services from outside Zimbabwe to an address in Zimbabwe, or of electronic services by an electronic commerce operator domiciled outside Zimbabwe to a person resident in Zimbabwe. This clause will apply the provisions of the Income Tax Act on quarterly provisional payments to the payment by such operators of tax on income deemed to be from a source within Zimbabwe. On 10 September 2020, the Bill was passed by the National Assembly with amendments and sent to the Senate. On 16 September 2020, the Senate passed the Bill.
This e-bulletin provides only general information on legislative and regulatory developments, which we consider key. It is not our intention to list all developments in the sector across Sub-Saharan Africa.
For further information, please contact Wendy Rosenberg or Tebogo Sibidla of Werksmans Attorneys, South Africa