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ICASA concludes successful spectrum auction, collects over R14.4B

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA/the Authority) hereby confirms the successful conclusion of the much-anticipated high-demand radio frequency spectrum auction today. The auction involved six qualified bidders, i.e. Cell C, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, MTN, Rain Networks, Telkom and Vodacom.

The revenue collected from this auction totals more than R14.4 billion, which will go to the national fiscus. This is the total amount generated from the Opt-In phase auction, which took place on 8 March 2022, and the main auction stage, which commenced on 10 March 2022 and concluded today, 17 March 2022.

The main auction stage comprised 58 rounds of bidding between the six bidders.

The Authority further confirms that there was one unsold spectrum lot of 2x10MHz in the IMT800 Band. This lot will still be licensed by the Authority in future.

The next stage in the auction process will be the assignment round, which is purely an administrative process and will be held on Tuesday, 22 March 2022, to determine the actual spectrum ranges to be assigned for all the lots bought in the various bands.

The Chairperson of ICASA Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng expresses his gratitude to all the bidders for their cooperation and participation in the auction. He further expresses his utmost gratitude to the government of the Republic and the entire South African society for their support throughout this complex process.

“This was our inaugural radio frequency spectrum auction, and we are really grateful to have reached this stage without any hassles and challenges from the first day of the actual auction to date. This shows South Africa’s capability as an investment-friendly destination,” says Dr Modimoeng.

The Chairperson further thanks all members of the ICASA staff who were actively involved in this process for their stamina and commitment to ensuring that this licensing process completes successfully.

“These members of our staff did this for the country, and they must be hailed for the successful conclusion thereof. We look forward to all South Africans benefitting from the dividends of these regulatory interventions, and to seeing the proceeds of the auction being put to good use for the benefit of all South Africans. This auction was indeed in the best interest of all South Africans, as will be the subsequent licensing interventions post government’s revision of the Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) Policy” concludes Dr Modimoeng.

The table below provides details of various assignments following the conclusion of the auction.

Spectrum Lots Acquired in Opt-In Auction and Associated Revenue

Bidder 700 800 2600 3500 TOTAL (ZAR)
Telkom 20 1 504 815 407.10
Liquid Telecom
Cell C
Rain 20 10 1 151 274 105.50
Sub-total Revenue 2 656 089 512.60

Spectrum Lots Acquired in Main Auction Stage and Associated Revenue

Bidder 700 800 2600 3500 TOTAL (ZAR)
Telkom 22 608 800 000.00
Liquid Telecom 4 111 000 000.00
Cell C 10 288 200 000.00
Rain 10 280 100 000.00
MTN 20 40 40 5 152 100 000.00
Vodacom 20 80 10 5 381 600 000.00
Unsold 20
Sub-total Revenue 11 821 800 000.00

Total Spectrum Lots Acquired per Bidder and Associated Financial Commitment

Bidder 700 800 2600 3500 TOTAL (ZAR)
Telkom 20 22 2 113 615 407.10
Liquid Telecom 4 111 000 000.00
Cell C 10 288 200 000.00
Rain 20 20 1 431 374 105.50
MTN 20 40 40 5 152 100 000.00
Vodacom 20 80 10 5 381 600 000.00
Unsold 20
Sub-total Revenue 14 477 889 512.60

‘It always seems impossible until it is done’ – Former President, Nelson Mandela

CT Bureau

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