ICASA delays announcement of bidders for 4G and 5G spectrum

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has advised that the announcement of bidders for its upcoming spectrum auction will be delayed until 23 March 2021.

“The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa advises stakeholders that the announcement of qualified bidders in terms of the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) Invitation to Apply (ITA) of 2 October 2020 has been moved from the initial date of 22 February 2021 to 23 March 2021,” ICASA said in a statement.

This means that the auction phases, which includes the bidder seminar, the mock auction, and the actual auction of high-demand spectrum will commence by 31 March 2021.

“One of the critical milestones in this regard is the conclusion of a contract with the external and independent Auctioneer who will be overseeing and managing the entire auction process,” ICASA said.

ICASA chairperson Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng said the appointment of the service provider for the upcoming auction is crucial to the process.

“The conclusion of a contract and appointment of the service provider for the auction remains a key factor, and we remain confident that we are not off the track but in a better position to complete the licensing of high demand spectrum,” Modimoeng said.

Modimoeng added that ICASA will ensure that the spectrum auction process is concluded with the necessary speed but “without untoward haste”, stating that it was aware it carried the aspirations of the entire nation.

“We indeed assure all stakeholders of our steadfast commitment towards the public interest, and hereby give certainty that the licensing of high demand spectrum is imminent,” he said.

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ICASA delays announcement of bidders for 4G and 5G spectrum