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As six telecom operators throw their hats into the ring for SA's latest attempt to auction 5G wireless broadband spectrum, the big question is not only whether it will happen in our lifetimes, but why it is so important.

A 17-year gap since the last significant allocation of spectrum and a legal wrangle that has delayed a new auction of high-speed spectrum for six years mean that the massive opportunity it offers has been wasted for more than a decade...

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