The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) says it will oppose Telkom’s litigation to prevent the expiry of the temporary COVID-19 spectrum allocation.

The telecoms regulator says the considerations that informed the issuing of the spectrum never contemplated that the spectrum would be licensed on a long-term or semi-permanent basis.

In a statement released today, ICASA believes that it would be failed in its duty if it were to continue what it deems to be anti-competitive, unfair, and unjust spectrum licensing regime.

The regulator says public interest dictates that high-demand spectrum be licensed without delay through an open, competitive, and permanent assignment process. It says it has set out an expedited timetable for the permanent licensing of this spectrum. And this it says will be through an open, market-based approach by no later than the end of March 2022.

VIDEO: ICASA to announce spectrum licensing plans: Adv. Dimakatso Qocha