Telkom intensifies cell price war

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TelkomCEO Independent Newspapers. Telkom chief executive Sipho Maseko. Picture: Masi Losi.

Johannesburg - Telkom has written an open letter to telecommunications giants MTN and Vodacom about a new pricing regime, the New Age reported on Monday.

“Today we stand at a cross-roads - you can hide behind regulations to protect profits or we can all continue to expand access and lower costs,” Telkom chief executive Sipho Maseko reportedly wrote in the letter.

Published in the Sunday newspapers as a full-page advertisement, the letter was addressed to Vodacom executive Shameel Joosub and MTN executive Zunaid Bulbulia.

It was a response to their comments about the new call termination regulations proposed by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa), the newspaper reported.

The regulations, which were published by Icasa in January, aim to reduce mobile termination rates from 40 cents to 20 cents a minute, with high levels of symmetry for smaller operators.

This would allow small operators Cell C and Telkom mobile to charge Vodacom and MTN more to send calls to their networks than the larger networks would charge them.

The newspaper reported that Vodacom and MTN had filed papers in the High Court in Johannesburg to stop Icasa from implementing the regulation.

Bulbulia reportedly told the newspaper paper the cost base of a mobile network was higher than that of a fixed network, and that mobile operators who entered the industry later also charged higher mobile termination rates than they paid in fixed termination rates to Telkom.

Joosub told the newspaper that Vodacom supported lower connection fees between the mobile networks on the condition that the correct process was followed. - Sapa



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