ICASA and Minister of Telecommunications Siyabonga Cwele have agreed to settle the court matter regarding an invitation to apply (ITA) which the authority issued for the allocation of high-demand spectrum in 2016.
ICASA will withdraw its ITA and the minister will withdraw the legal challenge against the ITA, said the parties.
This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent call to initiate a process for the allocation of high-demand spectrum to mobile networks like Vodacom and MTN.
The minister is consulting with ICASA on a new draft policy direction for the licensing of the high-demand spectrum, which will be issued for public comment once completed.
After the public consultation process and consideration of the final directions issued by the minister, ICASA said it will commence the licensing process for the assignment of the spectrum.
The minister will consider applications for unassigned high-demand spectrum which is not reserved for the wholesale open access network (WOAN).
“The authority is indeed pleased that the impasse over the licensing of high-demand spectrum has finally been resolved,” said ICASA chairperson Rubben Mohlaloga.
“It is our concerted view that the settlement of the 2016 litigation and pending consultation process on the policy direction provides much needed certainty for the sector to thrive.”