Icasa plans to auction off spectrum

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has published an information memorandum for comment, detailing its plans to auction off spectrum to interested parties.

In the memorandum, Icasa said mobile telecoms are critical for achieving the “broadband for all” goals set out by the government.

“In order to realise the Government’s roll-out targets for broadband services in line with SA-Connect Policy, the Authority is to commence with the licensing process for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum bands,” it said.

Icasa has decided on the simultaneous licensing of the 700MHz, 800MHz, and 2.6GHz bands, to “enhance competition and to increase broadband coverage”.

According to Icasa, the spectrum will be split into two categories (Wholesale Open Access and Operators), with six lots up for grabs (A through to F).

Lot A will be part of the Wholesale Open Access category and will be licensed through a different process, but lots B through to F will be auctioned off.

All interested parties will first have to qualify before hitting the auction stage, and upon winning, will then be licensed.

With auctioning, bids are placed for individual lots and the auction proceeds in successive rounds with increasing prices – until there are no new bids.

Bidding will take place in Johannesburg – a date is yet to be set.

The full memorandum can be found online.

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Icasa plans to auction off spectrum