South Africa: Regulator Appealing Spectrum Interdict From Government
To recall, in March 2021, BMA had reported on the spectrum auction plans, which were placed on halt following a judgement handed down by the Pretoria High Court. The planned spectrum auction was due to commence on the 31st of May, 2021.
The release of new-generation tools such as 5G has since been subject to numerous appeals after a South African High Court barred The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) from rolling out the spectrum anticipated by the end of May 2021 companies. The judgement meant that the regulator could not analyse and auction the International Mobile Technologies frequency spectrum in the range of 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 2600 MHz, and 3500 MHz bands.
ICASA chair Keabetswe Modimoeng told Parliament that they need more time amid a legal battle over spectrum auction before they can provide further updates on the process on Wednesday. The Authority wrote to Boyce Maneli, chair of the Portfolio Committee on Communications, saying,” the regulator has no objections to appearing before the committee. Still, it would be somewhat premature to do so now, seeing that they have no substantive updates yet.”
The regulator has filed an appeal against the interdict, which is still pending. No resolution has yet been reached, with parties still engaged in ongoing negotiations. ICASA, while still pursuing the interdict, has invited those involved in the litigation to discuss and negotiate ways they can settle the matter out of court. Independent broadcaster e.tv and telecommunications company Telkom on the other hand, have been successful in halting the process.