Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

4G/5G

Telkom SA drops interdict application in spectrum battle, for now

Article Image
Telkom South Africa made a U-turn on Friday afternoon, telling the media it has decided to remove its urgent application to interdict the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa's (ICASA's) upcoming spectrum auction.

ICASA had intended to auction spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz bands in March 2022.

On January 5, 2022 Telkom filed an urgent interdict asking the Gauteng High Court to review and set aside ICASA's spectrum 'Invitations To Apply (ITA)' which was published in December 2021, effectively putting the whole spectrum licensing process back into limbo.

ICASA was not impressed, accusing Telkom of "narrow and selfish commercial interests" as it prepared to fight the court challenge.

The court case had two parts - Part A requests the court to urgently suspend the ITA while the court deliberates on Part B of Telkom’s application which focuses on the merits of Telkom’s arguments against the ITA.

Telkom said in an emailed statement on Friday that it has reached agreement with all the respondents on the need to expedite the hearing for Part B of the application.

"In line with the agreement between the parties, while we await the decision of the court on the proposed timelines for the hearing of the review, Telkom will be removing the hearing of Part A of its application from the urgent roll," explained Dr. Siyabonga Mahlangu, Telkom's group executive for regulatory and government relations.

Telkom however said it "reserves its rights to reinstate the matter on short notice should it become necessary."

Part A of Telkom’s two-part application was set to be heard on Tuesday, January 25, 2022. Telkom has proposed that Part B of the application be heard on March 1 – 4, 2022.

"Telkom is pleased with the cooperation it has received from the parties on this revised timeframe and expects the regulator to proceed mindful that the outcome of hearing of Part B of Telkom’s application will have material impact on the auction process," Mahlangu added.

Choosing sides

The majority of South Africa's mobile operators sided with the telecoms regulator in the matter as outlined in a previous Connecting Africa article.

SA operators have not had new spectrum allocated in over 15 years with the spectrum process interrupted by court challenges a number of times. The new spectrum is intended to be used for 4G and 5G rollout in the country, with operators forced to refarm 3G spectrum to deploy new technologies up until this point.

On January 7, 2022 MTN filed high court papers to oppose Telkom's interdict application.

Vodacom and Rain also filed papers to oppose.

Cell C told Connecting Africa that it had not joined the court case but was consulting its lawyers and has reserved its rights to oppose Telkom’s interdict.


Want to know more about 4G and 5G in Africa? Check out our dedicated 4G/5G content channel here on Connecting Africa.


In 2021 Telkom won a previous court interdict to stop ICASA's previous ITA which was published in October 2020, delaying the planned spectrum auction from March 2021 to March 2022.

ICASA is also still facing a court challenge from broadcaster e-tv which will be heard by the high court in March 2022.

Related posts:

Innovation hub

Story

Moya super app takes aim at SA fintech market

Super app Moya's fintech platform, MoyaPay, aims to be South Africa's most widely used mobile money payments platform.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Kenya's Shamba Pride

This month's hot startup, Shamba Pride, wants to revolutionize the rural agricultural trade ecosystem in Kenya by transforming agro-dealers into franchised 'DigiShops.'

More Innovation hub

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: April 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia View highlights indicate a shift to digital transformation and operational consolidation to maximize return on investments.

Story

Omdia View: March 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia summary of the biggest stories in the Middle East and Africa focuses on SA's spectrum auction and new submarine cables landing in Kenya and Togo.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Latest video

More videos

Archived webinars

Boosting Customer Experience in the Digital Age

From the first interaction to the last payment: convert leads into clients, drive loyalty and grow your bottom line.

The digital age has ushered in a new era of customer engagement. Consumer demands and expectations are higher than ever – where an affordable but seamless online experience is now the norm.

At a time when competition for your customers is fierce, ensuring a client journey that is tailored to their needs has never been more important. The ability to build these bespoke offerings starts with understanding, and that understanding is built on data.

This webinar will explore how gathering insight is key to growing and retaining a strong customer base; we’ll unpack how CRM platforms, mobile payment, lead capture, and online marketing are key factors in building a successful 21st Century digital business.

  • Customer Experience – understanding consumer expectations of today
  • What easy steps can you take to provide a complete, immersive digital customer experience?
  • How to leverage modern digital tools to build customer loyalty

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up