The latest part of the long-running spectrum auction saga in South Africa is due to take place during the week of 11-14 April when regulator the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and operator Telkom will meet in court.
This is related to Part B of Telkom’s application to review ICASA’s decision to publish the invitation to apply (ITA) for spectrum. Telkom has been insisting that the way the auction process has been formulated by ICASA will mean an uneven playing field.
According to the ITWeb news site one issue is ICASA’s decision to include sub-1GHz spectrum in the intended auction. Telkom has pointed out that this is the subject of a legal challenge brought by broadcaster Etv in the digital migration process.
Part A of the application, which requested the court to urgently suspend the ITA, has, for now, been dropped following a challenge from operators MTN, Vodacom and Cell C.
However, while expressing its approval of the co-operation from the parties in reaching agreement on expediting the court process, Telkom has also said, “Telkom has always reserved its rights to reinstate part A of its application should this become necessary at any point.”
Cell C, MTN, Vodacom, Telkom, Rain Networks and Liquid Telecom have all applied for the International Mobile Telecommunications spectrum licences, also known as high-demand spectrum.
The process has, however, been delayed by a number of legal challenges that have hindered the long-awaited availability of more – and cheaper – data services.