"South Africa Regulator Is Slicing Spectrum Like Salami!" - Says Telkom
ICASA (The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) - the agency that regulates all things telecoms and broadcasting in South Africa has been accused of slicing up the 3.5GHz spectrum "like a salami to be shared between interested parties".
Telkom's group executive for regulatory affairs, Mr Siyabonga Mahlangu, made this allegation during an interview with Sunday Time, a South African newspaper. According to the reporting, Mr Mahlangu said he believed that ICASA's approach to the high-demand spectrum auction is "problematic".
The Telkom regulatory executive asserted that the means and methods that ICASA is using to structure and implement the auction of these spectrum bands could mean that telcos would be forced to pay a premium for them, suggesting that ICASA's methods are creating unnecessary artificial scarcity. To buttress his point, he noted that while an operator is required to allocate between 80Mhz and 100Mhz for the delivery of 5G, only 116Mhz of the spectrum is actually made available.
ICASA has, however, dismissed the allegations and charges with regards to the way it is handling the spectrum auctions. ICASA's chairperson Mr Keabetswe Modimoeng commented, saying: "This is characteristic of either impatience or a subtle desire to channel the authority's decision-making outlook. We remain steadfast and will defend the process."