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ICASA to appoint consultant for next spectrum auction

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) intends to publish a request for proposals to appoint a consultant to assist with the licensing process for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) Radio Frequency Spectrum, including conducting an auction in multiple IMT identified bands.

In a statement, the telecoms regulator says the IMT spectrum auction is expected to be completed in 2024.

It notes the amended Radio Frequency Spectrum Regulations prescribe the market-based approach to efficient spectrum management, which includes using an auction process for the licensing of the spectrum in respect of which demand exceeds supply.

“This important process seeks to ensure universal availability of broadband services, a robust and competitive telecommunications industry, as well as promote investment in the country. As a result, it is vital to ensure a fair auction process by appointing a suitable consultant to assist with the licensing process,” says councillor Peter Zimri, chairperson of the ICASA committee.

The licensing process is availing spectrum resources on the following identified IMT spectrum bands: IMT750, IMT800, IMT1500, IMT2300, IMT3300 and IMT3500.

In March last year, ICASA raised R14.4 billion from the country’s historic spectrum auction process. The auction involved six qualified bidders: Cell C, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, MTN, Rain Networks, Telkom and Vodacom.

ICASA had set itself a target of R8 billion from the proceeds of the auction, which had been up in the air for some years.

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