ITA for MUX 3 Spectrum for Broadcasting

Posted by LA Thornton on Thursday, September 10, 2015
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa issued an invitation to apply for Multiplexer 3 (MUX 3) Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence to Provide Commercial Television Broadcasting Services on 1 September 2015 (and again on 10 September 2015).  The process will proceed in two stages.  The first  is a prequalification stage.  The second is a sealed bid stage.  Prequalification documents are due 30 November 2015.  In order to prequalify, an entity must be a broadcasting licensee and ...
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Vodacom purchase of Neotel inches closer

Posted by LA Thornton on Tuesday, July 7, 2015
On 30 June 2015, the Competition Commission released a media statement announcing that it has recommended to the Competition Tribunal, the approval of the merger of Neotel and Vodacom.  The recommendation included certain conditions.

1)  Vodacom may not use Neotel’s spectrum until 31 December 2017.  Hopefully, the Tribunal will tie the time period to the implementation of equitable spectrum policy by ICASA.

2)  Vodacom must commit to R10 billion investment in infrastructure within 5 years.  T...
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ICASA proposes transfer of control regulations

Posted by LA Thornton on Tuesday, June 30, 2015
After apparently approving the transfer of control of the Neotel licences in a regulatory vacuum, ICASA finally proposes regulations that will govern transfers of control of iECNS/iECS licences.

The proposed regulations are set out in the amended Process and Procedures Regulations.  Significantly, the regulations are being amended to conform to the amendments to the EC Act which came into force in 2014, which require transfers of control, as well as transfers of licences, to be prior approved...
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New reporting requirements for ICASA licensees

Posted by LA Thornton on Tuesday, April 21, 2015
By a notice published on 20 April 2015, ICASA has appeared to have amended its reporting requirements in respect of licence fees and universal service and access fund contributions. 

The following reporting requirements are currently in force.

1.  FORM 2, BASIC FINANCIAL REPORTING FORM, PAYMENT OF LICENCE AND USAF FEES, must be submitted along with payment of the required annual licence fees and contributions to the USAF, within six months of a licensee's financial year end.  FORM 2 was publis...
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Neotel/Vodacom - ICASA holds hearings in a regulatory vacuum

Posted by LA Thornton on Thursday, December 18, 2014
ICASA has published a notice of hearings to be held in the proposed transaction between Neotel and Vodacom on 15-16 January 2015.  This notice follows a call for written comment on the proposed transaction in September 2014. 

It is not certain whether these hearings concern only the service licences of Neotel or both the service and spectrum licences, as neither notice mentions provisions of the EC Act concerning spectrum.

It is also not certain under what authority the proceedings are taking...
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Another attempt to unscramble the egg - Two new ministries for electronic communications revisited

Posted by LA Thornton on Monday, December 8, 2014
On December 2 2014, the President published a proclamation re-assigning the administration of powers and functions of the ICASA Act and EC Act to the now separate Ministry of Communications and Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services.

This new attempt to unscramble the egg is a far better attempt than the original notice.  However, difficulties remain. 

ICASA Act

The MoC has the authority in terms of section 14A of the ICASA Act to approve the appointment of experts by ICASA (in cert...
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Licence Transfers of Control (and BEE) - More Confusion?

Posted by LA Thornton on Monday, December 1, 2014
On 27 November 2014, ICASA gave notice that it had accepted an application for the transfer of control of the service (and spectrum) licences of the subsidiaries of Business Connexion Group Ltd to Telkom SA SOC Ltd. 

ICASA stated that the application was submitted in terms of section 13 of the EC Act, which concerns service licences.  No reference was made to the provisions of the EC Act concerning spectrum licences.

ICASA stated in the notice that it has"published a notice on 10 October 2014 ...
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ICT Law in South Africa - 2014 in Review

Posted by LA Thornton on Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Go here for an analysis of ICT policy, legislation and regulation in South Africa in 2014.

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Re-imagining Policy for ICTs (and broadcasting)

Posted by LA Thornton on Tuesday, November 18, 2014
On 14 November 2014, the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services published the 299 page National Integrated ICT Policy Discussion Paper.  Comments are due by 15 January 2015.

The paper covers a wide range of issues.  Below is the outline of the Paper presented in its introductory chapter.

Key Principles and Approaches - identifies key principles and issues that affect all ICT related sectors, including core regulatory principles, green ICT policies and approaches to ensuring an open ...
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Licence transfers and BEE - ICASA notice raises more questions than answers

Posted by LA Thornton on Tuesday, October 14, 2014
On 10 October 2014, ICASA published a warning to iECS and iECNS licensees that transfer applications will not be approved "which do not have 30% equity ownership by HDGs", if filed after the publication of the warning.

Questions:

Will applications submitted prior to 10 October 2014 that do not have 30% equity ownership, be approved?

Does the warning amend the Licensing Process and Procedures Regulations, 2010, which state that ICASA has the authority to not approve (or approve) transfer applicat...
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