SA communications authority concludes spectrum auction

 ·18 Mar 2022

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on Thursday (17 March) confirmed the conclusion of a high-demand radio frequency spectrum auction involving six qualified bidders: Cell C, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, MTN, Rain Networks, Telkom and Vodacom.

The revenue collected from the auction totalled more than R14.4 billion, which will go to the national fiscus, it said.

This is the total amount generated from the Opt-In phase auction, which took place on 8 March 2022, and the main auction stage, which commenced on 10 March 2022 and concluded today, 17 March 2022, the authority said.

The main auction stage comprised 58 rounds of bidding between the six bidders.

The authority further confirmed that there was one unsold spectrum lot of 2x10MHz in the IMT800 band. This lot will still be licensed in the future.

The next stage in the auction process will be the assignment round, which is purely an administrative process and will be held on Tuesday, 22 March 2022, to determine the actual spectrum ranges to be assigned for all the lots bought in the various bands, Icasa said.

The various operators who took part in the auction spent the following on various bands:

  • MTN R5.2 billion
  • Vodacom R5.4 billion
  • Telkom: R2.1 billion
  • Rain: R1.4 billion
  • Cell C: R288 million
  • Liquid Intelligent Technologies: R111 million

“This was our inaugural radio frequency spectrum auction, and we are really grateful to have reached this stage without any hassles and challenges from the first day of the actual auction to date. This shows South Africa’s capability as an investment- friendly destination,” said Icasa chairperson, Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng.

“This auction was indeed in the best interest of all South Africans, as will be the subsequent licensing interventions post government’s revision of the Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) Policy.”

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