Icasa awards mobile TV licences

2010-09-10 11:20

Johannesburg - and MultiChoice have been awarded the licences to provide mobile TV, the Independent Communications Authority of SA said on Friday.

" and MultiChoice did not have other competing bidders with respect to the multiplexes they applied for... as a result, the authority has decided to grant the licences to and MultiChoice," Icasa chair Stephen Mncube told reporters in Johannesburg.

Icasa initially aimed to have the digital video broadcasting service up and running in time for the Soccer World Cup. This would have meant South Africans would have been able to watch soccer matches on their cellphones.

Icasa missed their deadline and an invitation to apply was sent out in April this year. Four applications were received from MultiChoice, Mobile TV Consortium, Super 5 Media and

The first three applicants were disqualified for failing to comply with the preliminary requirements of the invitation and mobile TV regulations. applied for 40% capacity of the frequency. A second invitation was sent out in May this year for the remaining 60%.

Two applications were received from MultiChoice and Super 5 Media.

"Unfortunately, Super 5 Media withdrew its application," Mncube said.

Icasa councillor Robert Nkuna said if everything went according to plan, the services would be available to the public within 12 months.

  • john - 2010-09-10 11:32

    Now there's something to look forward to: porn and sport on your mobile. Talk about choosing the lowest common denominator.

  • Juan - 2010-09-10 11:49

    I don't understand this. Mobile tv is basically plain tcp ip traffic (like any website, mxit, etc) So i dont think they even needed to apply for a license. I watch youtube videos on my cellphone and i'm sure youtube didnt get a license?!

  • anon - 2010-09-10 12:17

    What we need is competition, not a further channel for these useless providers to feed us through more avenues with their same boring cheap cr@p.

  • Kyle - 2010-09-10 12:34

    The reason for getting a license is because they will utilise a technology called DVB-H which needs a radio bandwidth to broadcast on.

  • Klasie - 2010-09-10 12:37

    These are spectrum licences in order to provide broadcast TV services over DVB-H, i.e. best suited to LIVE events (news channels, live sport). Most other Internet-centric IP video services are On-Demand...

  • gnplk - 2010-09-10 12:44

    Much more fun to watch a program on my big flat screen tv.

  • Robert Kay - 2010-09-10 13:27

    So now we have etv and dstv on the so-called mobile. For which no doubt you will pay heavily if you watch them on a mobile. With e-tv, can we expect lots of that idiotic WWE or whatever that so called sport is called? One thing is for sure - Dstv will be repeat after repeat after repeat ad nauseum! And Icasa wasn't ready in time. What a Disneyland this place can be!

  • NonBlindMouse - 2010-09-10 13:28

    Ah, that's so fantastic. what are we gonna watch on it?

  • meindert - 2010-09-10 13:47

    @juan, the technical details seems to be missing. But it seems to be on a different frequency then the 3G connection you are using for youtube. Beside that it wouldn't be point to point like tcp ip but as a broadcast.
    Would be nice if anybody has more info about the technical site of things. And what handset to buy.

  • Barry - 2010-09-10 14:15

    @Juan. This is not the service currently delivered over 3G. It is broadcast using a dedicated bearer in the UHF frequency range. Most probably using DVB-H although Qualcomm is trying very hard to sell their MediaFLO technology.

  • Juan - 2010-09-10 14:40

    If only we had unlimited 3g bandwidth at a reasonable price, we all could be watching tv on our existing smartphones.

  • Vrye Denker - 2010-09-10 14:42

    As long as we don't have to pay any usage charges beyond a regular TV License, I believe this has lots of potential. But if someone gets greedy and start demanding we pay per use, like with streaming formats like Youtube, they might just as well pull the plug on that idea right now.

    On the 3 Cellular networks, it costs me R10 to watch a 5 minute video clip on Youtube. Unless of course I'm using in-bundle data, but that's still 50c a megaByte, which is hardly cheap. A full length movie at that rate will still cost R45 for 90 Minutes, which is actually more than a movie ticket.

    So, again, let's hope that this will work the same way as FM Radio on our phones: free of charge and unlimited use.

  • Webster - 2010-09-10 17:38

    Yawn - whats new. Have been watching TV on my Vodacom phone after signing on for OnDemand. And it is on demand so you can watch what you like when you like. Its basically like having a DVD on your phone which is much more useable in my way of thinking. Not expensive either and good choices.

  • 10111 - 2010-09-11 17:44

    Now we can watch the repeats on our cellphone. I agree get another provider. DSTV suck and etv even more.

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