A court has endorsed an agreement between the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) and mobile operators on the spectrum auction, sending the regulator back to the drawing board about the rules governing the allocation of the key wireless airwaves.

The move will potentially further delay the auction of the radio frequencies as Icasa may be forced to conduct drawn-out public hearings and miss a self-imposed deadline of January 2022 to get the process going. That would be a blow to one of the most important aspects of removing blockages to faster economic growth. Operators and business leaders have long stressed that additional spectrum would expand broadband access and bring down the cost of internet connectivity...

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