5 MHz Band in South Africa

South Africa’s SARL has asked the communications regulator ICASA to allow radio amateurs a 100 kHz wide allocation in the 5 MHz (60m) band with 400 watts output. In terms of the outcome of the WRC-15, ICASA published on 25 May 2018 in the National Radio Frequency Plan an allocation of 100 kHz of spectrum to South African Radio Amateurs. There are two separate footnotes in the plan, splitting access to the 60m band into three segments.

In footnote 5.133B there is an allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz with a power limit of only 15 W EIRP. This is the most common allocation in countries where 60 metres is permitted. In footnote NP 0, ICASA has allocated a full 100 kHz: “The 5350 — 5450 kHz segment and the channel 5 290 kHz are allocated on a secondary basis to radio amateurs under Article 4.4 of the ITU regulations.” ICASA has however not yet updated Annexure I of the Frequency Spectrum Regulations which stipulates power limits and modulation types. However, in the SARL’s motivation to have 100 kHz of 5 MHz spectrum allocated, the SARL requested a power limit of 26 dBW (400 Watts PEP) for ZS and ZR licence holders and 20 dBW (100 watt PEP) for ZU licence holders. These power limits are common in South Africa for all bands that are allocated on a secondary basis. On bands where amateur radio has a primary allocation, the power limit for ZS and ZR licensees is 30 dBW. The current situation is that these power limits for secondary allocations apply on 5 MHz except for the segment 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz where only 15 Watt EIRP is permitted.


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