Rogue wireless Internet service providers (ISPs) providing Internet access to consumers in contravention of the Telecommunications Act put extreme pressure on South Africa’s scarce radio spectrum.
This is according to Thami Mtshali, CEO of iBurst, who adds that these operators could be subject to criminal prosecution.
“Ultimately, people must decide whether they want to be customers of the Enrons and Masterbonds of the Internet industry,” says Mtshali, who points out that only certain operators such as iBurst are licensed to build their own public communications networks.
"We hope that consumers will not be seduced by unrealistic promises and remember that doing business with potential criminals will harm South Africa’s war on crime.
Degradation of the available radio spectrum in a certain area will inevitably result from the operations of illegal wireless operators reselling unreliable, saturated and high-latency ADSL lines, he says.
Already, rising demand from licensed mobile and fixed-line operators, broadcasters, ISPs and others is causing ICASA to reevaluate the procedures and criteria for awarding the precious national resource that is radio spectrum.
License conditions stipulate certain minimum service standards and make operators liable for contraventions.