In March 2021, the North Gauteng High Court barred telecommunications regulator, Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) from auctioning the International Mobile Technologies (IMT) frequency spectrum in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 2600 MHz and 3500 MHz bands. The release of spectrum was expected by the end of March 2021 but telecommunications company Telkom and independent broadcaster e.tv had managed, successfully, to interdict the process.
In September 2021, an order granted by the court ended the litigation instituted against ICASA by Telkom and e.tv. ICASA has consequently, announced new dates for the auction of high demand IMT spectrum, which should be auctioned by March 2022. Public consultation will take place until the November 29, 2021.
The industry has stated that the extension of IMT spectrum will assist them with the rollout of 5G and reduce data prices (South Africa has some of the world’s most expensive data prices.) An update on Wholesale Open Access Network (WOAN) was also given. Consideration for the WOAN licences are open from October 1, 2021, until the May 13, 2022.