Johannesburg( IT News Africa)-Independent Democrats (ID) leader Patricia de Lille has slammed cellphone operators for “a double rip-off” after Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda confirmed that Telkom was paying around six times more in interconnection rates to cellphone companies than
it was receiving from them.
“As if it wasn’t enough that taxpayers and the poor are being ripped off by exorbitant interconnection fees, the cellphone operators pay Telkom one sixth of what they are being paid in return,” De Lille said.
Lille was responding to a question in Parliament by Nyanda, who asked him how much Telkom paid and received from cellular phone operators for interconnection fees in the past two financial years.
“The minister’s revelation that in 2009 Telkom paid R5.4 billion in interconnection rates to cellphone operators, while it received only R916 million from them in rates in return is disgusting,” De Lille said.
She said the huge disparity in rates was one reason why the need to reduce rates as an urgent issue.
By Mpendulo Ngwenya