Icasa begins review of cell rates

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Johannesburg - A process to review the new call termination rates proposed by Icasa has started, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa said on Wednesday.

The 2010 call termination regulations stated that Icasa would review: the wholesale voice call termination markets to which the regulations apply, the effectiveness of competition and the application of pro-competitive measures in those markets after a minimum period of three years, spokesman Paseka Malekathe said in a statement.

For that to be done in a transparent and fair manner, questionnaires would be issued to every licensee to seek information for the review.

“The questionnaires are available for download at www.icasa.org.za. All responses to the questionnaires are expected in Excel format only,” Malekathe said.

“Licensees are required to submit responses to Icasa on or before Friday the 13th June 2014.”

On March 31, the High Court in Johannesburg declared new call termination rates proposed by Icasa invalid and unlawful.

The court gave Icasa six months to amend its regulations.

MTN and Vodacom had taken Icasa to court on an urgent basis to stop it from implementing a regulation on mobile termination rates.

These are the rates operators pay one another for calls to other networks.

Icasa wants to implement a set of regulations that would see these rates dropped to 10 cents per minute in 2016.

For 2014, cellphone giants MTN and Vodacom will have to pay 44c a minute to smaller operators, while the smaller companies will have to pay only 20c, in an asymmetrical structure.

MTN and Vodacom want the 2014 regulations scrapped.

Alternatively, they want interim relief to prevent the introduction of the new rates until they have been reviewed. - Sapa

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