Icasa says it plans to move forward the upcoming radio frequency spectrum auction as Telkom withdraws a part of its court application to halt the process.

A Business Day report notes Telkom lodged a case with the High Court in December, seeking to stop the spectrum allocation process until Icasa fixed issues it said were flawed.

Spectrum has not been allocated for close to a decade.

The regulator outlined plans in 2020 to auction R8bn worth of broadband spectrum, which it aims to complete by the end of March.

Telkom says the process, as set out, would entrench the big two mobile network operators. Yesterday, Icasa said Telkom had decided to withdraw part of the application that sought to compel it to ‘inform all parties who may have an interest in applying for spectrum licences’ in the upcoming auction of the case.

‘The purpose is to ensure that any interested and affected parties are notified of this application and the relief sought in the application,’ Telkom said in its original court application.

Telkom’s Siyabonga Mahlangu, told Business Day yesterday that Icasa had done its part and supplied it with the details of all the affected parties, taking the requirement off the table, rather than a withdrawal.

He said Telkom would proceed with the main part of the case that seeks to stop the auction.

Icasa, however, said it would proceed with auction.

The operator will proceed with its interdict, which is set to be heard on 9 February.

Icasa said it was committed to completing the licensing process ‘for the benefit of all South Africans, in particular consumers of electronic communication services’.

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