ICASA Appointed Cenerva to Advise on Licensing for International Mobile Telecommunications Spectrum

Cenerva was appointed by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to advise on the licensing process for the assignment of high demand spectrum. This is also known as the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum.

This was a landmark event, not only due to the value of the spectrum but also because it was the first time ever that ICASA had auctioned off this type of spectrum.

Cenerva was delighted to collaborate with fellow industry professionals to deliver this milestone project. The team was led by Cenerva’s Prof H Sama Nwana, but also included Dr Ryan Hawthorne from Acacia Economics (South Africa) and Dr Abhaya Sumanasena of Real Wireless Ltd (UK). These individuals bring highly specialised expertise, combined with knowledge and direct experience in the South African market.

The project involved advising ICASA on determining the fair economic value for the high demand spectrum, which raised more than R14.4 billion (almost $1 billion) in March 2022.

There were six successful bidders and only one unsold lot, which was subsequently allocated following the auction.

“Prof Nwana and his team demonstrated true world-class expertise in all the deliverables of the project, which in particular included determination of the spectrum valuation estimates of the 5 bands, production of the Invitation to Apply (ITA), miscellaneous advice on the Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN), design of the Auction Rules, advice on the general spectrum policy for the South African context.”

– Willington Ngwepe, Chief Executive Officer of ICASA

Spectrum Policy & Management Training

The Chairperson of ICASA, Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, said “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.”

He went on to say, “… 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.”

Cenerva also supported ICASA with training to up-skill and develop competence for its team, delivering highly valued training covering spectrum valuation, economic regulation, spectrum rules and auction design, auction logistics, wholesale access networks, competition, and more. All of this was delivered as a bespoke programme to suit the specific nature of the South African market.

This project will have a positive impact on the telecoms sector in South Africa, which will lead to better connectivity and improved services for consumers. It is also hoped that this will encourage greater investment in the country’s telecoms infrastructure.

The team at Cenerva is extremely proud of the role we played in helping to generate almost R14.4 billion for the benefit of all South Africans. We look forward to continuing to support ICASA on future projects.

To discover how Cenerva can help you with your telecoms regulatory challenges and the emerging digital economy, read more about our consultancy services or see our current training programme availability.

New! The Internet Value Chain & the Digital Economy: Insight and Guidance on Digital Economy Policy and Regulation

Cenerva co-Managing Partner, Prof H Nwana has recently published a follow-on book (April 2022) entitled The Internet Value Chain & the Digital Economy: Insight and Guidance on Digital Economy Policy and Regulation.

The Internet Value Chain and the Digital Economy

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