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ICASA delays spectrum bidders announcement

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(Image credit: PIxabay)

The announcement of the bidders on the upcoming spectrum auction has been pushed back to March, 23.

“The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa advises stakeholders that the announcement of qualified bidders in terms of the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) Invitation to Apply (ITA) of 2 October 2020 has been moved from the initial date of 22 February 2021 to 23 March 2021,” ICASA said in a statement.

This means the rest of the process has been delayed as well. The actual auction will now be happening on March, 31. 

“One of the critical milestones in this regard is the conclusion of a contract with the external and independent Auctioneer who will be overseeing and managing the entire auction process,” ICASA said.

The auction process has been fraught with complications, as different networks bring up new issues around how the spectrum is being auctioned off. 

Telkom, MTN and Vodacom have all expressed concerns over the process and MTN has even taken ICASA to court. 

These spectrum bands are crucial to the future roll-out of 5G in South Africa which is why this auction has become a crucial point for the stakeholders.