Vodacom implements new call rates

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IOL pic dec18 vodacom signage Bloomberg File picture: Nadine Hutton

Johannesburg - Vodacom on Tuesday put into effect new call termination rates following a ruling by the High Court in Johannesburg, the cellphone operator said.

Spokesman Richard Boorman confirmed the rates were implemented. He said the company was studying the ruling and would comment further in due course.

“Our legal challenge has been justified, the view that the call termination regulations are unlawful has been vindicated,” he said in an e-mail.

MTN and Vodacom took the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to court to stop it from implementing a regulation on mobile termination rates. These are the rates operators pay one another for calls to other networks.

On Monday, the high court ruled that Icasa's proposed new call termination rates were invalid and unlawful. The court gave Icasa six months to amend its regulations.

“MTN awaits a copy of the written judgement whereafter it will consider its options going forward,” MTN CEO Zunaid Bulbulia said on Tuesday.

Icasa said MTN was required to comply with the ruling.

“The ruling is out, all of us must comply,” spokesman Paseka Maleka said.

He said the operators were expected to apply the new call termination rates for six months while Icasa amended its regulations.

“If they do not comply we will take them to the complaint and compliance committee to compel them.”

MTN and Vodacom would have to pay 44c a minute to smaller operators, while the smaller companies would have to pay only 20c.


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