SACF CONGRATULATES ICASA ON R14.4BN SPECTRUM AUCTION

Access to this critical spectrum will support the phenomenal and sustained surge in traffic since the beginning of COVID and the subsequent growth of digitization of businesses. Despite the significantly higher prices realised in the auction, SACF members who have been successful, maintain their commitment to reducing data costs.

South Africans can now look forward to faster speeds, better network quality, and broader rural coverage – all of which still require network upgrades and the importing of equipment already impacted by global supply chain demands.

The proceeds of the auction will be applied across the economy and SACF urges that part of it be redirected to the ICT sector to stimulate economic growth and to ensure inclusive access by all communities; over the bailout non-performing parastatals.

Payments for the bids must be made within 30 days and licences will be issued shortly after.

While the auction appears to have been a success and ICASA must be applauded we are conscious that two parallel legal processes have the potential to negate these gains. As a result of the significant impact and consequence of these processes on the country and economic growth, we are hopeful that the parties will be able to find a resolution soon. It is also unfortunate that the decision to not licence the WOAN was announced just as the auction started – adding a cloud of uncertainty of what happens to the spectrum set aside for the WOAN. Clarity is at best several months off, as the consultative has just begun.

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