ICASA postpones LTE auction until March 2017

26 Sep 2016

South Africa’s telecoms regulator the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has pushed back the date of its proposed auction of LTE-suitable spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz and 2600MHz bands to March 2017. The authority published a notice in the Government Gazette in which it said it was also giving interested parties until 4 November 2016 to submit their applications for participation in the process; the previous deadline was 3 October. The planned auction will now take place between 27 February and 10 March 2017, with the results to be published on 13 March 2017. ICASA has also reportedly softened the 30% black ownership requirement, with news source Fin24 reporting that the minimum requirement now is ‘a level-four broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) rating.’

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in July the ICASA issued an Invitation for Application (ITA) for the aforementioned spectrum in to all interested parties wishing to provide wireless broadband services. 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.