According to BMA sources, Liquid Intelligent Technologies has indicated that it will use its cellular network capacity to build a 5G network to boost industries such as manufacturing and mining.
In March, Liquid Intelligent bid US$6.8 million to acquire four megahertz (MHz) of spectrum in the 3,500 MHz band.
After years of delay, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) finally hosted an auction for some of this precious wireless network capacity.
Liquid Intelligent spectrum purchase brings its holdings in the 3,500 MHz band to a round 60 MHz.
Even though this is a substantial spectrum in a single band, the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) has suggested that operators have 100 MHz of contiguous spectrum in 3,500 MHz for 5G.
The rest of the frequencies in this band were bought by Telkom (22 MHz), Cell C (10 MHz), MTN (40 MHz), and Vodacom (10 MHz).
According to Liquid CEO Deon Geyser, the operator was deliberately bidding for a small portion of the spectrum.
Adding that Liquid has a different business model from players such as Vodacom, MTN, and Telkom.
“With wireless being important, we have developed a fibre and data centre strategy,” Geyser mentioned.
The regulator managed to raise US$9 million for National Treasury with the auction.
Vodacom bid almost US$3.3 billion for 110 MHz of spectrum, MTN bid nearly US$3.2 billion for 100MHz, and Telkom bid US$1.3 million for 44 MHz.
According to Geyser, this acquisition is an opportunity to expand as they will be providing fibre to towers throughout South Africa.