Mobile TV licences awarded

Etv and MultiChoice have been awarded licences to provide mobile TV, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) said today.

“Etv 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 etv and MultiChoice,” Icasa chairperson Stephen Mncube told reporters in Johannesburg.

Icasa initially aimed to have the digital video broadcasting service ready for the Soccer World Cup, thus enabling South Africans to watch matches on their cellphones.

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

The first three applicants were disqualified for failing to comply with the preliminary requirements of the invitation and mobile TV regulations.

Etv applied for 40% capacity of the frequency. A second invitation was sent out this May 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.

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