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ICASA readies for court showdown with Telkom over spectrum

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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is looking to oppose a court application brought by Telkom to force the regulator to temporarily halt the spectrum licensing process which is earmarked for March next year.

This after Telkom this week filed an urgent court application, saying it considers the regulator’s decisions to be irregular and unlawful.

In October, ICASA opened the invitation to apply (ITA) for the licensing of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum, also known as high-demand spectrum, and that of the wholesale open access network (WOAN).

It noted the closing date for IMT applications is 28 December 2020, while that of the WOAN is 30 March 2021.

However, Telkom now wants ICASA to halt the whole process to allow broader participation as well as address some of the concerns it raises.

ICASA yesterday issued a statement saying it received a court application on Tuesday, 22 December 2020, filed by Telkom in respect of the ITA for high demand spectrum or IMT spectrum as well as the ITA for the WOAN both of which were issued on 2 October 2020.

The telecoms regulator says it is currently reviewing the court application and has engaged its legal representatives to oppose the court application.

“Furthermore, the authority wishes to inform all prospective applicants that the date for submissions of applications in respect of the ITA for the IMT spectrum remains unchanged and is still 28 December 2020. This court application does not stop the authority from proceeding with the receipt of applications in this regard,” says ICASA.

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