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S.Africa's MTN and Vodacom join Telkom in temporary spectrum lawsuit

JOHANNESBURG : South Africa's two biggest mobile operators, MTN and Vodacom, have joined number three Telkom in a lawsuit to stop the regulator withdrawing temporary frequency spectrum assigned at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The temporary spectrum allowed the operators to deliver faster connectivity to customers to meet a surge in data demand as large numbers of people shifted last year to working and studying from home.

MTN and Vodacom have also used the temporary frequencies to launch 5G networks.

But the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) said in August telecom operators must return their bandwidth by the end of November, as it could not allow the temporary assignment to "assume a state of permanence," while a permanent process was underway.

That permanent process - of auctioning long-term spectrum - was del

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