MTN to oppose Telkom attempt to interdict issuing of radio spectrum licences

07 January 2022 - 21:24 By TimesLIVE
MTN said it will oppose Telkom's urgent interdict aimed at stopping the regulator from proceeding with issuing radio frequency spectrum licences. File photo.
MTN said it will oppose Telkom's urgent interdict aimed at stopping the regulator from proceeding with issuing radio frequency spectrum licences. File photo.
Image: Siphiwe Sibeko

MTN said it will oppose Telkom's urgent interdict aimed at stopping the regulator from proceeding with the issuing of radio frequency spectrum licences.

This week, Telkom brought a new bid against the Independent Communications Authority's (Icasa's) process to permanently allocate radio frequency spectrum by the end of March.

In December, Icasa issued an invitation to apply (ITA) for the spectrum, which has been delayed for more than a decade by a number of factors including a tussle between former communications ministers and Icasa, changes to the policy framework and, most recently, litigation by telecom companies.

MTN said on Friday that while the current ITA “is not perfect, we believe the regulator has tried to strike a delicate balance for all players”.

“We cannot have a repeat of 2021, where the entire process was delayed for another full year and that on the back of 14 years of no additional spectrum being added to the industry.”

It said spectrum is the lifeblood of the telecommunications industry and is the foundation upon which all voice and data services are delivered.

It said the link between the growth of economies and the availability of broadband services was undeniable and, in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the need for expanded access to high-speed broadband has never been more important for the country and “its economic recovery”.

It added that a successful spectrum auction has the capacity to not only release much- needed funds into the national fiscus, but it will have an immediate impact on consumers.

“Spectrum is not just an industry issue, this is an issue for all our people and while there are certainly elements of the ITA that are a concern, we have to work together to best benefit the people of SA,” said MTN SA CEO Charles Molapisi.

Business Times


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