Icasa to appoint consultant for 4G and 5G spectrum auction

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) says it plans to issue a request for proposals to appoint a consultant to help with its next radio frequency spectrum auction.

Spectrum is the lifeblood of mobile network operators like MTN, Vodacom, Telkom, and Rain.

Icasa says the consultant’s appointment is part of the second phase of its next round of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum licensing.

Former acting Icasa chair Dr Charley Lewis recently said the regulator hopes to hold the next auction in early 2024.

The consultant Icasa wants to appoint will help with licensing spectrum in six bands, including conducting an auction.

The five bands are: IMT750, IMT800, IMT1500, IMT2300, IMT3300, and IMT3500.

“This important process seeks to ensure universal availability of broadband services, a robust and competitive telecommunications industry as well as promote investment in the country,” said committee chair Peter Zimri.

“As a result, it is vital to ensure a fair auction process by appointing a suitable consultant to assist with the licensing process.”

Icasa said its amended radio frequency spectrum regulations prescribe the market-based approach to efficient spectrum management, including using an auction to license high-demand bands where demand exceeds supply.

The regulator also said a non-compulsory virtual briefing session would happen at 11:00 on 9 June 2023.

Its press release about the meeting was issued 8 minutes after it was scheduled to start.

Now read: Icasa sets up task team to help ICT sector fight load-shedding

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Icasa to appoint consultant for 4G and 5G spectrum auction