Icasa approves all 6 mobile companies for March spectrum auction

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  • Icasa will conduct a mock auction from 1 to 3 March 2022 with individual bidders.
  • The in-person single round opt-in auction is set for 8 March 2022.
  • The main online auction will take place from 10 March 2022.



Six companies will participate in the upcoming auction of high-demand spectrum next month, Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) announced on Monday — while vowing to confront ongoing litigation against the process.

MTN, Rain Networks, Telkom, Vodacom, Cell C and Liquid Telecoms have been approved by Icasa to participate in the long-awaited process, which is subject to a court review launched by Telkom.

The auction takes place on 8 March.

The court is set to hear Telkom's case against the process between 11 and 14 April, more than a month after the proposed date for the auction.

All six mobile operators had applied for the auction, and Icasa chairperson, Keabetswe Modimoeng, said the fact that all six have been approved "illustrates the robustness of our telecommunications sector" in the country.

"We commit ourselves to discharge this vital public-interest mandate to the very best of our abilities as we continue to confront the ongoing litigation head-on," said Modimoeng.

"We can officially proclaim the forthcoming March 2022 spectrum auction as an unparalleled milestone in our country's communications history as this will be the first ever spectrum auction held on our shores."

Icasa will conduct mock auctions from 1 to 3 March 2022 with the individual bidders, ahead of the in-person single round opt-in auction on 8 March. The main online auction will take place from 10 March 2022.

Telkom earlier dropped its bid for an urgent interdict for the auction, in favour of an expedited review of its case. The company said although the auction would be held before its case, the hearing may have a material impact on the process and outcomes of the auction.

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