ICASA wins court battle against WBS

23 Apr 2014

Wireless Business Solutions (WBS), the parent company of South African broadband provider iBurst, has reportedly announced that it will lodge an appeal against a court ruling, which found that telecoms regulator the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) acted lawfully in April 2013, when it raided six of the company’s offices and seized its telecoms equipment. TechCentral reports that ICASA previously won a High Court legal battle against WBS, after accusing the operator of using spectrum in 2010, 2011 and 2012 without paying the required licence fees of ZAR60 million (USD5.68 million) per year; for its part, WBS claimed to owe only ZAR8.5 million.

On 22 April 2014 the judge ruled that WBS had not paid the required fees resulting in the expiration of its authorisation. As such, the company ‘may not engage in the operation of the network as it is not in possession of radio frequency spectrum licences.’ WBS non-executive director David Hilewitz revealed that the company will file an appeal against the decision within the next five days.

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