28th February 2024 5:21 am
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Icasa delays announcement of qualified bidders in spectrum auction

As is tradition for the South African telecoms space, a delay has been announced for a particularly important matter.

That matter is the spectrum auction which was meant to see the announcement of qualified bidders happening today but it has now been delayed.

The delay comes from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) but thankfully the delay is only until 23rd March.

Why is the delay happening at all? According to Icasa chairperson, Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, the contract with the external auctioneer who will oversee and manage the entire International Mobile Telecommunications Invitation to Apply process is yet to be finalised.

This delay is seemingly a speed bump though, according to the chairperson.

“The conclusion of a contract and appointment of the service provider for the auction remains a key factor, and we remain confident that we are not off the track but in a better position to complete the licensing of high demand spectrum”, Modimoeng said in a statement.

The delay means that the auction phase which includes the bidder seminar, mock auction and the actual auction will now take place on 31st March.

“We indeed assure all stakeholders of our steadfast commitment towards public interest, and hereby give certainty that the licensing of high demand spectrum is imminent”, the chairperson added.

While it is a delay, it’s a relatively short one and it appears to be for a good enough reason.

That having been said, the availability of spectrum for 4G and 5G needs to happen sooner rather than later and we hope that this is the only delay in this matter.

We’d hold our thumbs but, 23rd March is a month away.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

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