ICASA reveals spectrum auction participants
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has said it has registered six participants for its spectrum auction.
Cell C, Liquid Telecoms and Rain Networks join Telkom Vodacom and MTN as the participants for the auction, having submitted their applications by January 31.
The auction stage is set for March 8 and the main online auction will occur on March 10.
The operators had applied for the auction before December 10 and ICASA chairperson, Keabetswe Modimoeng, said the approval of all six "illustrates the robustness of our telecommunications sector" in the country.
The auction comes despite several ongoing legal battles between ICASA and telcos in South Africa, particularly Telkom.
Telkom will meet ICASA in court in mid-April after Telkom took issue with the regulator including sub-1GHz spectrum in the intended auction.
Vodacom and MTN will join the case, citing concerns over plans to remove temporarily allocated spectrum.
Despite the ongoing issues, Modimoeng reaffirmed that the priority is to “ensure that all South Africans have access to a wide range of communication services, including data services at affordable prices”.
“We value each milestone in this process, especially considering the mammoth legal challenges we have encountered along the way,” he added.
“Ultimately, public interest should prevail, as this process will yield positive spinoffs for the industry and society at large.”