ICASA, Minister end 2016 spectrum auction dispute

27 Sep 2018

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and Minister of Telecommunications Siyabonga Cwele have agreed to settle a 2016 legal dispute that derailed plans to stage a multi-band spectrum auction. Back in August 2016, Minister Cwele filed an application to block the proposed auction of LTE-suitable spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz and 2600MHz bands, after objecting to the invitation to apply (ITA) which the watchdog issued on 15 July 2016.

The belated resolution of the situation follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent call to accelerate the suspended licensing process. Cwele is now said to be consulting with ICASA on a new draft policy governing the spectrum auction, which will be issued for public comment once completed.