RIVAL telecoms companies have objected to an application by MTN South Africa, which asked the
He added that spectrum as a scarce resource "must always be subject to public scrutiny to ensure that it is awarded in a manner that promotes the public interest", and suggested that Icasa award the spectrum in terms of a regulated process.
MTN is applying for 5 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum in the 2 100 MHz band. It already holds 5MHz in this band.
While MTN's competitors argued yesterday that Icasa should issue an invitation to apply for the spectrum to all the players in the telecoms market, MTN claimed that its rivals had had the opportunity to apply, but had not done so.
"It should be noted that this particular band, we believe is not 'high demand' frequency as it has been dormant, open to application for several years and has not been applied for previously,"
"All licensees were free to apply for this spectrum, but have not done so.
"As per normal business practice, MTN applies for spectrum when a need arises. MTN's application… was made in
"MTN already has spectrum in the 2 100MHz band and this additional assignment would not be the most efficient and equitable usage of broadband spectrum. It would concentrate spectrum in the hands of one company," Thato Mahapa, the senior manager for legal and regulatory affairs at
He said it was premature to assign the spectrum before that in the sought-after 800MHz and 2.5 gigahertz bands was allocated and before a broadband strategy was clarified.
Paseka Maleka, an Icasa spokesman, could not say when the authority would publish its ruling. "We are going to deliberate on the submissions. People have seven days until
MTN shares lost 0.99 percent to close at R189.60 yesterday.
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