SA spectrum auction on ice, again

Source: Connecting Africa

by Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa 3/9/2021

South Africa’s long-awaited spectrum auction has once again hit a major speed bump after local operator Telkom won a court interdict to stop the auction process, which was supposed to take place at the end of this month.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has effectively been forced to stop its plans to auction spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz bands, intended to be used for 4G and 5G rollout.

After years of delays, ICASA in October 2020 published an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for high-demand spectrum for both the planned Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) and individual spectrum for operators.

“The High Court has issued an order, without reasons, interdicting and restraining ICASA from proceeding with the auction process pending the final determination of Telkom’s application to review ICASA’s decision to publish the two ITAs. The effect of this order is that ICASA cannot at this stage proceed with the auction process and the timetable for that process will have to be revised,” the regulator said in a statement.


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