E.tv and MultiChoice have been awarded licences to provide mobile TV, the Independent Communications Authority of South African (Icasa) said on Friday.
“E.tv and MultiChoice did not have other competing bidders with respect to the multiplexes they applied for … As a result, the authority has decided to grant the licences to e.tv and MultiChoice,” Icasa chairperson Stephen Mncube told reporters in Johannesburg.
Icasa initially aimed to have the digital video broadcasting service up and running in time for the Soccer World Cup. This would have meant South Africans would have been able to watch soccer matches on their cellphones.
Icasa missed its deadline and an invitation to apply was sent out in April this year. Four applications were received, from MultiChoice, Mobile TV Consortium, Super 5 Media and e.tv.
The first three applicants were disqualified for failing to comply with the preliminary requirements of the invitation and mobile TV regulations.
E.tv applied for 40% capacity of the frequency. A second invitation was sent out in May this year for the remaining 60%.
Two applications were received from MultiChoice and Super 5 Media.
“Unfortunately, Super 5 Media withdrew its application,” Mncube said.
Icasa councillor Robert Nkuna said if everything went according to plan, the services would be available to the public within 12 months. — Sapa