Telkom has withdrawn part of its court application to interdict to stop the country’s communications watchdog ICASA from proceeding with the spectrum licensing process, the Independent Communications Authority of SA disclosed on Monday.
Last month, speaking to TechCentral, Telkom group executive for regulatory affairs and government relations Siyabonga Mahlangu said the company is approaching 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.
Following the recent media reports about Telkom launching a court application in respect of the ITA for high demand spectrum or International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum as well as the ITA for the WOAN, ICASA today informed all stakeholders that Telkom has decided to withdraw Part A of the court application.
“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 ITA and the WOAN ITA of Telkom’s application,” ICASA said in a statement.
However, ICASA said Telkom’s is still proceeding with Part B and Part C of its application.
ICASA added that it remains committed to seeing this licensing process to its completion for the benefit of all South Africans, in particular, consumers of electronic communication
“Our efforts are geared towards licensing the high demand spectrum through an auction by no later than the 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.