On Friday 25 May, ICASA published the National Radio Frequency Plan 2018 in which amateur radio was allocated 100 kHz on a shared basis in the 60-metre band as well as channel 5 290 kHz for the 5 MHz propagation research project. The National Radio Frequency Plan 2018 is a nearly 300-page document which covers the entire radio frequency spectrum. The Frequency Plan is in Government Gazette 41650. The SARL will carefully consider all the amateur allocations and ensure that a band plan is in place.
The spectrum 5 350 to 5 450 kHz is now available to all licensed radio amateurs on a shared non-interference basis, the SARL Council is working on the 60 m band plan using Recommendation LA17_C4_REC_02 from the 2017 Region 1 General Conference as basis. Council will publish the band plan as soon as possible and then operation on 60 metres can start.
In addition, the channel 5 290 kHz has been allocated for WSPR beacons deployed in the SARL Propagation Research project and members can continue to use this frequency. Due to licensing issues the SARL has kept low key on the 5 290 kHz beacon project. “We now can go full steam ahead”, Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, the SARL Regulatory Manager said. “There are no longer any restrictions and no application for use of the 60-metre band is required.”
Commenting on the 100 kHz 60 metre allocation, SARL President, Nico van Rensburg ZS6QL said that the SARL has worked on this for a long time. “Clearly our persistent interaction with ICASA has paid dividends. This is however not the end of the road as in the new band plan power on 5 MHz is restricted to the WRC-15 agreement of 15 watts e.i.r.p
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