Icasa puts mobile TV licensing on hold – Media Roundup
The Independent Communications Authority (Icasa) yesterday withdrew an invitation to operators to apply for mobile TV licences.
Icasa decided that it would be “in the interest of the communications industry at large to first finalise the Digital Migration Policy and Frequency Band Plan before licensing any mobile digital video broadcasting services”.
But Icasa does not need to have the digital migration policy in place to license mobile TV, according to analyst David Moore of Africa Analysis.
Moore said the mobile operators and MultiChoice have been ready to launch commercial mobile TV services since 2007, when their trial period was due to end.
According to an industry source, the reluctant withdrawal, which came three days before the licence application deadline, was a response to pressure by e.tv. However, the broadcaster would neither deny nor confirm that it had put pressure on Icasa.
The withdrawal could further delay the testing of the service by the successful applicants before the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The government has made commitments to the local organising committee for the soccer event that by 2010 there would be mobile TV.