Icasa to oppose the High Court application filed by MTN

29th January 2021 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) plans to oppose the High Court application filed by telecommunications giant MTN.

Following receipt of MTN’s urgent court application on January 27, relating to the Invitation To Apply (ITA) for high demand spectrum or International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum licensing process, Icasa said it is reviewing the application and instructed its legal representatives to oppose the application.

The authority plans to defend the application as the licensing of high demand spectrum is one of the most critical regulatory projects ever undertaken by Icasa and is backed by policy imperatives.

“The licensing process brings with it greater spin-offs for government, business and consumers in the form of faster broadband speed, economic recovery, investment and above all, better quality of service and experience for the South African population,” said Icasa chairperson Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng.

“We believe that this licensing process has been balanced, with no room for a winner-takes-all attitude,” said Modimoeng.

Further, the group said it had been in constant communication with MTN on the issues raised in its court application.

“It is unfortunate that MTN has elected to procced with instituting legal proceedings against the authority under these circumstances.

“This latest litigation attempt is characteristic of either impatience or a subtle desire to channel the authority’s decision-making outlook. We, however, remain steadfast and will defend the process against these challenges,” he continued.

Icasa assured, however, that there was no need to be alarmed by the legal battle as the process for the licensing of high demand spectrum will continue as planned unless there is a court order issued to delay or halt the process.