Section 18, Section 36, Section 47 and Section 61 of the Communications Act confers upon MACRA the mandate to issue Licences, therefore any person may person apply to MACRA for licence under the Act:
Telecommunication Service Licences
The telecommunication market is segmented into various sub-categories such as Fixed, Cellular, Internet Service Providers (ISP), Satellite and Data etc. Other segments of the market are competitive while the others are still non-competitive. In non-competitive market the number of players is restricted. In the competitive market there is no limit on the number of players. The competitive markets are Internet Service Providers, Data service providers and paging services. The Fixed telephone services and cellular service are currently non-competitive, the Authority will determine the licensing procedure on a case by case in future.
Spectrum Management is essential for maintaining access to radio spectrum to all users. The office of SM is responsible for the frequency planning; coordinating allocations assignments, regulating and administering of the use of radio frequencies; and the monitoring and enforcement procedures.
It is further responsible for establishing regulations, frequency fees structure, technical parameters and standards governing the use of each band ensuring that current international regulations are met.
Spectrum Licence Categories
The following categories of licences are issued in terms of spectrum usage and service provision.
- GSM 900 / 1800 MHz.
- CDMA 450 / 850 MHz.
- Fixed Links (2/6/7/12/13/14/18/23/28 GHz e.t.c.)
- HF Services (3 – 30 MHz)
- Private Mobile Radio – PMR
- Aeronautical – AERO
- Industrial, Scientific & Medical – ISM
- Sound broadcasting – FM
- Television Broadcasting – VHF/UHF
- Amateur Services – AMR
- Centralized Alarm Services – CRA
- VSAT Services – VSAT / SOHO
- Broadband Services – ISP Spectrum
- Paging Services – PG
- 3G/ UMTS Services
Postal services are part and parcel of communications services in Malawi just like elsewhere in the world. They are therefore included in the Authority’s mandate to license, monitor, inspect, regulate and ensure general improvement and equitable distribution of communications services in the country; in accordance with the provisions of the Communications Act of 1998. Hence this Act requires all operators in the Malawian postal sector to obtain an Operator’s Licence issued by the Authority.