The ANC’s inability to recognise the importance of telecoms and to appoint a competent minister is why South Africa hasn’t auctioned frequencies for 15 years.
First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.
Just when it seemed South Africa would finally get new spectrum licensed for the first time in 15 years at a month-end auction, a legal spanner has brought it to a halt.
As I’ve tried to explain before, the issues are as clear as mud. Telkom, the third-largest operator, complained that the auction rules would favour the two biggest players, Vodacom and MTN, so it sued the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) last year.
Earlier this year, MTN also sued the regulator, concerned that the auction would deny it access to the crucial 3.5GHz range – some of which Telkom already has access to.
On Monday, Telkom convinced North Gauteng High Court judge Selby Baqwa to halt Icasa’s long-awaited auction, which had been set for 25 March. Telkom was joined by broadcaster e.tv in winning the interdict – for different concerns about the same spectrum.
Currently, the 700MHz and 800MHz ranges are used by good old-fashioned tele-vision signals – which people can still pick…
Source link : https://allafrica.com/stories/202103170347.html
Author : Daily Maverick
Publish date : 2021-03-17 09:32:19