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Telkom withdrawing ICASA objections?

January 21, 2022

By Chris Forrester

South Africa’s Telkom, in its High Court action, has proposed withdrawing its objections to the upcoming proposed spectrum auction. But this might not mean a speedy end to its objections.

Local reports say that lawyers for Telkom, in a letter to the Court, appear to want instead to see the various parties have a full Court hearing. While the existing ‘Interdict’ application would be withdrawn, it would be replaced by a full hearing which would itself delay the overall ICASA plan to start an auction process.

The Telkom letter says it is willing to withdraw the initial portion of its application (which covers the ‘Interdict’) because of “the national imperative of finalising the spectrum licensing process and the extremely truncated timelines set by ICASA in the 2021 outline auction Invitation to Apply.

This would leave Telkom’s ‘Part B’ request to the Court and which itself asks for the various parties and their evidence and related affidavits to be heard in full – and thus a further delay.

Telkom’s rivals including Vodacom, Rain and MTN have all objected to Telkom’s move and thus placing considerable pressure on Telkom.

Telkom reportedly wants the Court hearings to be heard in early March subject to court timings and available of a judge and counsel.

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