Telkom sues ICASA

Post updated 23 December 2020 to include ICASA’s response:


23 December 2020

Pretoria – The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (“ICASA/the Authority”) received a court application on Tuesday, 22 December 2020, filed by Telkom in respect of the Invitation to Apply (“ITA”) for high demand spectrum or International Mobile Telecommunications (“IMT”) spectrum as well as the ITA for the Wireless Open Access Network (“WOAN”) both of which were issued on 2 October 2020.

The Authority is currently reviewing the court application and has engaged its legal representatives to oppose the court application. Furthermore, the Authority wishes to inform all prospective applicants that the date for submissions of applications in respect of the ITA for the IMT spectrum remains unchanged and is still 28 December 2020. This court application does not stop the Authority from proceeding with the receipt of applications in this regard.

My Broadband: “ICASA will mess up the industry for 20 years” — Telkom sues over 5G spectrum auction

article by Jan Vermeulen, 23 December 2020

Telkom has launched a legal challenge against ICASA’s plans to auction valuable radio frequency spectrum that is to be used for 4G and 5G networks in South Africa.

In an interview with MyBroadband, the Group Executive: Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations for Telkom, Siyabonga Mahlangu, said that Telkom has tried to engage with ICASA regarding the spectrum auction on several occasions, but the regulator rebuffed them.

Mahlangu warned that if the spectrum licensing process were to continue as is, ICASA would mess up the industry for 20 years.

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TechCentral: Telkom sues Icasa over ‘flawed’ spectrum auction

by DUNCAN MCLEOD, December 22, 2020

Telkom has submitted papers in the high court in Pretoria seeking an injunction restraining the communications regulator Icasa from continuing, at present, with the scope licensing process.

Speaking to TechCentral on Tuesday, Telkom group executive for governance and government relations Siyabonga Mahlangu said the company was approaching court because it believed Icasa invitations to apply (ITAs) to the scope and planned open access network (Woan) had flaws basically that could strengthen Vodacom and MTN’s “rule”.

Telkom wants temporary relief against Icasa, preventing the regulator from handling, evaluating, or judging applications under ITAs, which must be released before December 28th. One of Telkom’s main arguments is that Icasa issued an ITA knowing that 700MHz and 800MHz bands are not available…

It then wants the high court to review and set aside Icasa’s decision to issue two ITAs.

One of Telkom’s main arguments is that Icasa released ITAs knowing that the 700MHz and 800MHz bands – so-called digital dividends used by analog television broadcasters – are still not available for use by communications operators. Despite this, Icasa is insisting on the licensing of these bands and will expect to be paid for them despite the inability of applicants to use them, Mahlangu said.

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