Mobile network spectrum auction — Icasa asks for another round of feedback


The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has published an updated information memorandum for its second round of public consultation on the licensing of the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum.

Icasa said that this publication is a critical consultative process it is undertaking as part of its shortened schedule to release long-awaited radio frequency spectrum.

Spectrum is the raw network capacity operators like Vodacom, MTN, Telkom, Cell C, and Rain use to connect mobile devices to cellular towers.

“The consultative process in the form of publication of the second [information memorandum] is aimed at ensuring transparency in the licensing process; and is in compliance with the requirements for procedural fairness and administrative justice,” said Icasa chair Keabetswe Modimoeng.

“It is therefore important that all stakeholders participate fully in this process, which will culminate in the issuance of the invitation to apply for licensing of the high demand spectrum.”

Modimoeng said that Icasa remains committed to licensing spectrum through an auction by March 2022.

Stakeholders have until 16h00 on Tuesday, 30 November 2021 to make their formal submissions to Icasa.

Icasa’s aggressive pursuit of a March 2022 deadline to run the spectrum auction comes after it consented to a court order setting aside its earlier Invitations To Apply for the sought-after network capacity.

Icasa said at the time that it chose to consent to the order to avoid protracted litigation.

Telkom and MTN launched legal challenges against the previous spectrum auction on technical and procedural grounds.

E-tv joined Telkom’s application over its concerns about the lack of progress in South Africa’s migration from analogue to digital terrestrial TV technology.

MyBroadband understand that Telkom and MTN were ready to settle with Icasa and allow the spectrum auction to continue under certain conditions, however E-tv refused the settlement agreement.

E-tv has also subsequently launched legal action against government’s attempts to rapidly complete the digital migration.

Second information memorandum

Reasons document

Now read: South Africa’s cellular networks must reapply for temporary spectrum


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