Mobile TV on hold over row

SOUTH Africans will have to wait a while longer for the country's first mobile television. The deadline for applications for the first four licences was on May 7.

SOUTH Africans will have to wait a while longer for the country's first mobile television. The deadline for applications for the first four licences was on May 7.

The licence was supposed to be awarded in time for the World Cup.

But instead of sorting the applications, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has been reported to the Public Protector by one of the applicants for procedural impropriety.

Mobile TV Consortium (Mobile TV) claimed yesterday that it had resorted to the legal route after allegations surfaced that Icasa had allowed MultiChoice to submit its application after the deadline.

Mobile TV is headed by well known people in the media, including Connie Molusi and Mothobi Mutloatse.

"If MultiChoice was late there can be no special favours, especially since MultiChoice opposed an urgent interdict against Icasa's proposed timelines for the Invitation to Apply for the license," said Mutloatse, the consortium chairperson.

Jackie Rakitla, general manager of corporate affairs for MultiChoice South Africa, denied that they submitted their application late.

"MultiChoice's application was submitted to Icasa on time. We are not aware of this development. In any event, Mobile TV is not eligible to participate in the current licensing process since it is not a television broadcasting service licensee. This was confirmed in a recent final order of the high court," Rakitla said.

Icasa said it was aware of the high court ruling with regards to Mobile TV and had received the consortium's complaint about MultiChoice.

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