ICT Africa Headline News

ICASA crackdown: beware the wrong cordless phones

08 March, 2013
March 8, 2013

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has warned South Africans against the purchasing or importing of uncertified handsets.

“While the imported handsets may be similar to models available locally, they are configured for the networks of countries for which they were manufactured. They are hence optimised for the frequency allocations of those network operators,” ICASA explained.

According to ICASA, interference by illegal handsets affects between 100,000 to 200,000 subscribers daily, resulting in poor Internet speeds and cellular reception issues.

The regulator highlighted that 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,” said ICASA.

ICASA said that all type approved equipment must have an ICASA type-approved sticker similar to the image below.
ICASA type approval stickers

ICASA type approval stickers

The regulator said that is beginning a nationwide crackdown on illegal handsets. “While we have the power to search and seize illegal equipment, we encourage people to hand in illegal handsets to our offices”.

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 Peninsular.

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