South Africa delays spectrum auction again
March 10, 2021
By Chris Forrester
South Africa has postponed its spectrum auction yet again. This time the reason was a legal objection from the telco provider, Telkom, and broadcaster, e.tv, who secured a ruling from the nation’s high court to pause the auction.
Judge Selby Baqwa has now placed an interdict on regulator ICASA. The auction was supposed to happen this month. The court’s ruling also suspended the closing date for submissions for participation in a wholesale open-access market.
The court’s ruling is seen as a victory for Telkom and e.tv, and a blow for Vodacom and MTN who both wanted the auction to go ahead.
The concerns from Telkom and e.tv centre on the delays to free up the 700MHz and 800MHz bands which cannot happen until the so-called ‘digital divide’ is solved and the current analogue occupiers shift to digital TV.