TTGO boards - Icasa SA

Im thinking about setting up an end-device using the TTGO ESP32 lora board.
My question is; can I use this board in SA? or is it against the ICASA regulations?

Most probably but a few questions spring to mind:

Which frequency LoRa board?

Can you find the regulations on the ICASA website?

Can you find frequency plans by country on the TTN docs section?

Do you want to rely on legal advice from strangers?

Hi Descarte! Thanks for taking a look at my question.

Im new to TTN so I was wondering if anyone might know and have direct experience with working with TTN in S.A might want to advise me as I dont want to do something wrong!
(Sorry for the confusion, my question was not about frequency of operation, rather type-approval.)

In response to your question;

  1. ICASA all I can find is:

Unless I am wrong,

ICASA issued regulation on type approval in 2013. They consulted interested parties on developing a “position statement” in 2017. And, more recently (2019) delivered this, so-called “position statement” in which they state that they will develop "Assessment Framework for Equipment Authorization".
So yeah, if anyone else can throw some light on it, im really not sure if I am actually allowed to use/sell/install the TTGO boards (which is not actually type approved in South Africa). Actually Im not really sure what TTN/LoRaWan is type approved in SA.


So you did exhaustively use Forum search then right?! SA is a regular topic…

Also AFAIK 433Mhz not supported by TTN…

Hi Jeff-UK, Thanks for your reply.
I agree with you regarding 433MHz, not what I was asking but yes.
Perhaps I need to just approach ICASA directly,

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Your username “434Mhz” pops up as the subject line in alerts. I think that’s the confusion there. :wink:

Regarding peer-to-peer (P2P) operation: That is possible and also legal in South Africa, and you have to simply adhere to the Maximum Duty Cycle of 1%. See page 12 of Notice-of-intention-to-amend-Annexure-B-of-the-Radio-Frequency-Spectrum-Regulations.pdf

But P2P LoRa projects do not pertain to TTN and can be seen entirely separate.

Still, see whether you maybe already have a gateway nearby (map, TTNMapper) and use the rich back-end and infrastructure of TTN. Also thereby save your receiver-TTGOs for additional node operation. If you’re without coverage I’d like to encourage you to join the community by setting up an actual gateway (Hardware section in left pane) for yourself and your surrounds.

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And developing they are - it’s reached draft stage which I would interpret as not being law.

But I’d also interpret the exemptions (look at the draft) as being applicable unless you are intending to roll out these as a commercial product.

Thanks for your responce YS, yes ok Maybe my username is not the best one!
My question is regarding Type-Approval of equipment, Im not sure that is the same as the issuance of radio spectrum licenses.
For example, I have a LTE smartphone in my pocket, it is Type Approved by ICASA, but I don’t need to buy a spectrum license to use it (the network operators have the license to use the spectrum).
I do have interest in P2P, but Im intending to use TTN LoRaWan.

Hey! I think you are correct.
So, no, according to my understanding:

The 2013 regulations remain in-force as the proposed amendments are just in draft still as of 2020.

In terms of section 35 (1) of the Electronic Communications Act, “No person may use, supply, sell, offer for sale or lease or hire any type of electronic communications equipment or electronic communications facility, including radio apparatus, used or to be used in connection with the provision of electronic communications, unless such equipment, electronic communications facility or radio apparatus has, subject to subsection (2), been approved by the Authority”.

Ego, my TTGO board is not Type Approved.
I cannot use it in SA on TTN as an end-device.

Sorry, I realised that you hadn’t asked specifically for 433MHz but guess my little joke/play on words fell flat and was missed - as in you’re “434Mhz” (in 433Mhz band) so dont expect support on the forum :wink: Ah well I’ll stick to my day job! :slight_smile:


As I’m descartes, so I can assure you the word you are looking for is ergo = therefore. Ego = me. I know this because Cogito, Ergo Sum.

You really need to find someone in SA who’s used small amateur devices in the unlicensed band to ask their advice - it would seem very complicated if absolutely everything that emitted a radio signal required type approval which, as I suggest above, seems reasonable that small test deployments are exempt, as it says so in the draft documentation.