ICASA announces qualified bidders for the spectrum auction licensing process

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA/the Authority) hereby announces the names of the bidders that qualify to participate in the auction phase of the ongoing licensing process for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum – also referred to as high-demand spectrum.
This follows the receipt of six (6) applications on 31 January 2022 in response to the Invitation To Apply (ITA) issued on 10 December 2021.
In line with the truncated timetable published by the Authority for this licensing process, and after extensive analysis of received applications, the qualifying bidders are:

  1. Cell C,
  2. Liquid Telecoms,
  3. MTN,
  4. Rain Networks,
  5. Telkom,
  6. Vodacom.

This therefore means that all six applications have passed the pre-qualification stage of the licensing process and can now participate in the planned auction stage at the beginning of March 2022.
The Chairperson of ICASA, Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, expresses his appreciation and wishes all the qualified bidders well in their quest to obtain the much-needed radio frequency spectrum.
“The fact that all six applicants have qualified illustrates the robustness of our telecommunications sector in South Africa. We can officially proclaim the forthcoming March 2022 spectrum auction as an unparalleled milestone in our country’s communications history as this will be the first ever spectrum auction held on our shores. We commit ourselves to discharge this vital public-interest mandate to the very best of our abilities as we continue to confront the ongoing litigation head-on. With only two weeks remaining, we need to see selfless and responsible corporate citizenship at play,” says Dr Modimoeng.
The Authority will conduct a bidder seminar on 28 February 2022 followed by mock- auctions from 1 to 3 March 2022 with the individual bidders. Thereafter, the auction stage will commence on 08 March 2022 with the in-person single round opt-in auction. The main online auction shall take place from 10 March 2022.