South African telecoms group MTN said on Wednesday it disagreed with the analysis and recommendations of the Competition Commission after the regulator instructed MTN and rival Vodacom to lower data prices. Photo: Supplied
JOHANNESBURG - South African telecoms group MTN said on Wednesday it disagreed with the analysis and recommendations of the Competition Commission after the regulator instructed MTN and rival Vodacom to lower data prices.

“As we study the full report, (we) will continue to engage constructively and vigorously defend against over-broad and intrusive recommendations,” it said in a statement.

The country’s competition watchdog said on Monday Vodacom and MTN could face prosecution if they do not agree to cut data prices in the next two months. 

The ANC, yesterday, in response to the two mobile giants' reasoning that data was so expensive because of the lack of spectrum, said that would be sorted in the near future and that should not be an excuse.  

Joining the chorus of those welcoming the news that on the side battered the values of the companies, the ruling party said the current steep prices of data have a negative impact not only on the growth of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.

“We reiterate our call that operators must demonstrate goodwill by voluntarily lowering data prices and allow government to resolve the allocation of new spectrum. The release of spectrum, which the ANC supports, will resolve the network capacity constraints experienced by Mobile Network Operators and accelerate the roll-out of broadband networks in rural areas,” the party said in a statement issued on Tuesday.  

On the high data costs, the party said the working class poor, youth, students and women are robbed of their income as they spend more than 25% on the telecommunications services including data services. 

REUTERS/  BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE