South Africa completes first phase of delayed auction - Mobile World Live

South Africa completes first phase of delayed auction

09 MAR 2022

South Africa’s communications regulator kicked off a delayed spectrum auction, announcing Rain Networks and Telkom South Africa picked up frequencies in the first of three stages and insisting the main auction will start on 10 March despite an ongoing legal challenge from the latter.

In a statement, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) noted Cell C, Rain Networks and Telkom submitted bids for the opt-in phase.

Rain Networks won 2x10MHz in the 700MHz band and 10MHz in the 2.6GHz band for ZAR1.2 billion ($79.2 million), while Telkom secured 2x10MHz in the 800MHz band for ZAR1.5 billion.

Cell C did not win any frequencies in this round and Liquid Telecom did not participate.

The main phase of the process will see larger players MTN South Africa and Vodacom South Africa join the fray, seeking specific frequencies in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 2,600MHz and 3,500MHz bands.

Telkom’s day in court
ICASA stated that there is no legal impediment to the auction proceeding despite the legal challenge by Telkom.

“As matters stand, Telkom itself is a participant in the process and as per the outcomes of has emerged as a winning bidder in the opt‑in auction”, the regulator explained.

Telkom took issue with the auction of sub-1GHz frequencies which are not available yet and is also challenging a perceived lack of clarity in licensing a controversial wholesale open access network ICASA intends to make available to all of the country’s operators.

A court hearing is scheduled for early April to hear the operator’s challenges.

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Anne Morris

Anne Morris is a freelance journalist and contributes news and analysis to Mobile World Live.

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