Cell C questions ZAR3bn reserve price for LTE spectrum

20 Jul 2016

South Africa’s mobile network Cell C has questioned the timelines and reserve price for the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA’s) forthcoming wireless broadband spectrum auction, TechCentral reports. Under the terms and conditions, an applicant will qualify to bid on only one of the spectrum lots in the 700MHz, 800MHz and 2600MHz bands, which have a reserve price of ZAR3 billion (USD210 million) each. The auction itself is expected to start on 17 January 2017 and end on 30 January 2017. Cell C chief legal officer Graham Mackinnon said: ‘On an initial reading of the timetable, it seems quite rushed and the reserve price for the spectrum lots appears high especially as the spectrum lots are not equally valuable … We are still studying the ITA to assess its terms and will apply if the terms are fair.’

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, last week ICASA issued an ITA for spectrum in the aforementioned bands to all interested parties wishing to provide wireless broadband services in the country. ICASA said that in order to address South Africa’s bandwidth deficiency, the current allocated bandwidth of 567MHz of IMT spectrum needs to be increased.