All electronic communications service (ECS) and electronic communications network service (ECNS) licences issued by ICASA have a period of validity from the date of issue of the licence, being ten years for Class licences and twenty years for Individual Licences, respectively.
The requirement to renew certain CECS and CECNS licences is now an obligation faced by many licensees, as the first of these licences were issued in 2008. Individual licensees will only need to consider renewal processes in 2028.
Licensees holding CECS & CECNS licences are required to notify ICASA of their intention to renew these licences and make payment of the specified renewal fee, no less than 6 months prior to the expiry date of the licence. For example, a CECS licence issued 1 December 2010 will have an expiration date of 1 December 2020 and the licensee will need to attend to renewal processes with ICASA between 1 December 2019 and 1 June 2020. ICASA has issued a formal reminder to CECS & CECNS licensees to attend to the renewal processes.
Note also that licensees will be subject to scrutiny in respect of their licence obligations when attending to the renewal processes with ICASA, and ICASA may reject the renewal where there are certain outstanding obligations, most notably unpaid licence fees/USAF contributions and/or outdated details on the licences.
It is of particular importance that licensees holding a national CECS licence (i.e., issued before May 2014) ensure that they attend to this renewal, as these licences cannot be revived once the expiry date has passed, and it is no longer possible to apply for these national CECS licences from ICASA. Due to this, it should be noted that there is a market for these licences which do have some economic value; these licences can be sold and transferred to a new party and as such even if a given licence is not being utilised, it is worth considering attending to this process.
Failure to renew licences timeously means that the licences fall away and cannot be revived. If the licensee wishes to continue to provide licensed services, it will then need to register/acquire new licences.
Ellipsis can assist with the renewal process and related matters. For further information or queries please contact Sumaiyah Makda at email@example.com.