ICT Africa Headline News

South Africa: The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (icasa) Launches a Public Awareness Campaign Against Cordless Phones

05 March, 2013
SA Govt
March 5, 2013

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) urges the South African public against the purchasing or importing, including bringing in handsets when you travel to other countries.

While, the handsets may be similar to models available locally they are configured for the networks of countries for which they were manufactured - they are specifically optimised for the frequency allocations of those network operators. All handsets brought into South Africa must be type approved by ICASA. It is a criminal offence to use a non-type approved handset on local networks.

Consumers who purchase handsets from flea-markets and other retailers may also be vulnerable and may have bought illegal handsets. Interference by illegal handsets affects between 100 000 to 200 000 subscribers daily, either through slow or poor internet browsing and e-mail traffic.

The Authority is beginning a nationwide Crack-down on illegal handsets. While, the Authority has the power to search and seize illegal equipment, it encourages the public to hand in handsets to its offices in all provinces. Details of handsets and the location of offices are detailed below.

The nationwide programme will be begin on the Cape Peninsula area due to the unprecedented and alarming number of incidents that have severely impacted the networks and rights of operators and subscribers. For the past two years, ICASA attended to more than 30 cases of frequency spectrum interference, first in the Sea Point area, and later the interference has spread to the entire Cape Peninsula.

Why do handset models that are sometimes available locally cause interference in the South African market?

Due to the varied configurations of handsets for the different markets, a non-type approved handset has the potential to cause interference at two levels:

first, it negatively impacts your call quality and secondly, it causes interference to mobile towers and other subscribers.

Such interference violates the licence rights of operators, and subscribers. The result of interference is poor quality of service and the non-availability of access to the network and increased dropped calls and slower data rates.
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Underlying legislation that empowers ICASA

The Electronic Communications and ICASA Acts empower ICASA to investigate to confiscate any equipment that causes interference, including handsets. ICASA has the authority to confiscate any equipment without compensation to subscribers.

Handsets causing interference

This is the list of handsets that are causing interference, and the public is urged to hand these in to ICASA offices urgently. These are not the only handsets causing interference, these are just the most prevalent at the moment.

Report illegal handsets

Consumers are urged to work with the Authority to;

Identify retailer selling illegal handsets

Not to buy any handset that does not have the ICASA type approval sticker.

Regional Offices

Below are the details of the regional offices. Consumers are urged to drop-off handsets at any of these offices or to call for further information:

Cape Town

14th floor Golden Acre Building

Cnr Adderley and Strand Streets

Tel: 021 431 9800


Suite 1500 Victoria Maine Building

71 Margaret Mncadi Avenue

Tel: 031 334 9500

Port Elizabeth

4th Floor Execu Business Centre

Newton Street, Newton Park

Tel: 041 394 1600


Cnr Koller and Lombard Streets

Tel: 051 411 5900


Block A, Pinmill Farm, 164 Katherine Str

Tel: 011 566 3089


Jubie Matlou, Senior Manager, Communications and International Relations

Cell: 082 376 0015

Tel: 011 566 3463

Fax: 011 566 3452

E-mail: jmatlou@icasa.org.za

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