Telkom has decided to withdraw Part A of the court application. Last month it launched a court application in respect of the Invitation To Apply (“ITA”) for high demand spectrum or International Mobile Telecommunications (“IMT”) spectrum as well as the ITA for the Wireless Open Access Network (“WOAN”).
Part A of Telkom’s application was meant to compel the authority to inform all parties who may have an interest in applying for spectrum licences through the International Mobile Telecommunications ("Auction ITA") and the WOAN ITA of Telkom's application. However, Telkom is still proceeding with Part B and Part C of its application. ICASA remains committed to seeing this licensing process to its completion for the benefit of all South Africans, in particular consumers of electronic communication services. “Our efforts are geared towards licensing the high demand spectrum through an auction by no later than end of March 2021. We have adequately consulted relevant stakeholders and the public throughout this process and cannot do so to a point of regulatory paralysis”, says ICASA chairperson Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng. Dr Modimoeng further stated that South Africans deserve all the benefits of licensing the spectrum, and this includes improved quality of service and experience, as well as the related reduced data and voice costs.
Telkom approached the court because it believes ICASA’s invitations to apply (ITAs) for spectrum and the planned wholesale open-access network (WOAN) have fundamental flaws that could entrench the “dominance” of Vodacom and MTN.
Telkom wants temporary relief against ICASA, preventing the regulator from processing, assessing or adjudicating applications under the ITAs.