ICASA led the auction of South Africa’s broadband telecoms spectrum from March 8 to 17, 2022. The transaction involved six telecoms operators and raised R14.4 billion.
South African telecoms operators have until the end of October to pay fees owed to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) as part of the spectrum auction held in March 2022. This was revealed by Peter Zimri (photo), ICASA advisor, during the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s presentation to the Public Enterprises and Communications Committee of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
It was on March 17, 2022 that ICASA finalized the auction sale of broadband telecoms frequency spectrum in which Telkom, Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Rain participated . These operators acquired additional capacities for a total amount of 14.4 billion rand (745.26 million USD at the current rate). Although the initial fees have already been paid by the operators, some payments are still pending.
“ This is because at one point mobile network operators were unable to have all the available frequencies that we auctioned. As of July 31, we have successfully migrated all broadcasters in the band above 694 MHz, so that all available spectrum lots that were auctioned last year are now available to mobile network operators said Philly Mapulane, Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies.
After the set deadline, ICASA could sanction the offenders. This could include financial sanctions or withdrawal of the spectrum license.
Failure to pay fees could also slow government investment in the sector. South Africa’s Department of Communications and Digital Technology (DCDT) plans to reinvest R4.4 billion from the broadband spectrum auction into the telecommunications sector.