South African fixed-line and mobile operator in Monday said that it was pleased with the outcome of a South Gauteng High Court ruling, which approved the lowering of Mobile Termination Regulations in South Africa.
“Telkom welcomes the South Gauteng High Court ruling on the Mobile Termination Regulations. Telkom notes that the court has exercised its discretion in the interest of the public to allow the mobile termination rate of 20 cents and the asymmetric rate of 44 cents to be implemented for the next six months, effective 1 April 2014,” the company said in a statement.
As stated, the ruling is only effective for six months, after which the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) will have to reexamine the rates and adjust accordingly.
“Within the six month period the ICASA must complete a costing exercise and follow due process. Telkom will support ICASA in completing this process effectively and efficiently,” Telkom said.
Telkom, who is challenging Vodacom an MTN in court over the rates, added that they believe the ruling is in the best interest of the industry and will go far in reducing the cost to communicate for consumers and stimulating competition in the industry.
Mobile operator Cell C believes the ruling made by Judge Mayat on the MTR, is a step in the right direction and is positive for the consumer and the South African economy as a whole.
“Unfortunately, Vodacom and MTN have managed to frustrate the long-term process envisaged by ICASA to increase competition in the market, which would have resulted in lower prices for consumers in the long run. The uncertainty over MTRs over the next three years will continue to make it difficult for smaller operators to confirm their business plans beyond October 2014. It also negatively impacts on the smaller operators’ ability to bring down prices to ensure all South Africans have access to affordable communications,” Cell C said in a statement.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor