Johannesburg - Shares of South African mobile operators Vodacom Group and MTN Group fell in early trade on Monday after the telecoms regulator said it planned to slash by 75 percent the fees they can charge rivals to use their network.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) said after the close of trade on Friday it planned to cut the mobile termination rate to 10 South African cents by 2016 from 40 cents now.
The government, which is facing elections next year, is on a push to reduce call costs in Africa's largest economy.
Draft regulations are expected to be published this week and companies will have 14 days to comment.
Shares of Vodacom, which has the largest number of South African subscribers, tumbled 4.7 percent to 117.87 rand by 09:18 SA time.
MTN, which is Africa's largest mobile operator but has a smaller portion of the domestic market than Vodacom, dropped 2.2 percent to 194.74 rand.
ICASA three years ago found a lack of competition in providing call termination services had led to inefficient pricing, and imposed new pricing on Vodacom and MTN for mobile termination.
“The authority finds that the market remains ineffective with extremely high levels of concentration,” ICASA said in a statement on Friday. - Reuters