Updated: May 20, 2020
Telkom filed a formal objection against the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), alleging expropriation of Telkom radio frequency assets when ICASA allocated emergency temporary spectrum to operators to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and national lock down. Telkom then raised a formal objection. ICASA issued a decision to the effect that “the argument raised [by Telkom] is premature and misdirected in the context of the temporary assignment of spectrum for purposes of the COVID-19 Regulations”. The decision finds that, under Regulation 6(2) of the COVID-19 Regulations, ICASA is empowered to temporarily assign radio frequency spectrum during the national disaster period. Additionally, ICASA may deviate from the Radio Frequency Assignment Plans (RFSAPs). Finally, ICASA reasoned that the assignment of spectrum is temporary, and done only in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.