ICASA to mobile networks – fix problems or face consequences

icasa_1.jpgThe Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has instructed the country’s mobile network operators to urgently find a solution to their network problems, or face punitive action.

This follows a meeting between the operators (MTN, Vodacom and Cell C ), and South Africa’s communications industry regulator as part of a broader investigation into service delivery problems, including dropped calls and delayed SMS messages recently experienced by cell phone subscribers.

ICASA warned that the three industry players could be brought before the Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) for adjudication, and possible penalties, if they failed to resolve the problems.

Some of the affected areas included Germiston, parts of Sandton, Randburg, East Rand, North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

According to the networks, the widely-reported dropped calls and delayed SMS messages were attributed to problems with leased transmission lines, copper wire or fibre optic cable, including cases of theft and vandalism. This resulted in the downtime of base stations due to lack of transmission links.

Other problems highlighted include challenges in setting up additional base stations, as a result of delays in the approval of environmental impact studies.