South African WiMAX provider Screamer Telecoms has had its offices raided and equipment confiscated by state communications regulator ICASA. The raid, which took place over the weekend, reportedly saw the seizure of WiMAX equipment from a number of the carrier’s sites, as well as a raid on the company’s offices in Centurion, Pretoria. ICASA said that the necessary police warrants had been used during the seizures. Screamer CEO Gavin Hart has, however, denied that any such raid took place and that the company is operating as usual.
South Africa’s Independent Communications Authority (ICASA) has reintroduced a controversial requirement that companies applying for spectrum must be 30 per cent owned by historically disadvantaged shareholders (HDI). With the country’s second spectrum auction planned for an as-yet unspecified time this year, players such as MTN and Vodacom could find themselves excluded from bidding for access in the 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz bands which form a key component in both telcos next-generation, LTE network strategies.
South Africa’s third cellular operator, Cell C, has had its application for additional spectrum in the 2100MHz band approved. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) approved the application in January but the carrier only went public with the news yesterday.