File Picture: Lalinka Mahote/African News Agency (ANA)
File Picture: Lalinka Mahote/African News Agency (ANA)

Telkom to reduce prices for IP Connect products

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Mar 26, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Telkom, the partially state-owned company, said that it would reduce prices for its IP Connect products following an agreement with the Competition Commission of South Africa.

Telkom said yesterday that its wholesale division, Openserve would introduce transparency and remove any perceived competition problems associated with wholesale broadband connectivity.

Chief executive Sipho Maseko said Openserve had been considering changing the way it provided wholesale broadband over its copper and fibre infrastructure for some time.

Maseko said the group agreed that the structure and initial pricing of this new offering from Openserve would reduce wholesale charges to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for fibre broadband wholesale customers paving the way for the removal of the pricing concerns raised in respect of IP Connect.

“The new Openserve offering, which is structured as an aggregated end-to-end solution, will allow ISPs to manage their costs and compare the Openserve fixed broadband prices with the prices of other wholesale broadband providers more easily, thus enhancing competition in the fixed broadband connectivity market,” he said.

Telkom said there was no need for the commission to recommend that Telkom lower its prices.

Maseko said the group would improve transparency of pricing and notify its customers of the in-bundle effective rate per megabyte in its purchase confirmation messages to subscribers.

He said Telkom was also committed to narrowing the digital divide by offering zero-rated access to essential government services and educational institutions, including the primary URLs of more than 60 universities as well as further education and training institutions.

This month MTN and Vodacom announced that they would slash data prices from next month.

Meanwhile, Telkom has said that it had suspended all Section 189 consultations with employees due to the 21-day lockdown from midnight tomorrow.

“Following the president's announcement of a national lockdown starting at midnight tonight for 21 days, we have decided to suspend consultations until further notice.”

It said Telkom and Yellow Pages were currently at different stages of the section 189 consultation process with exit dates agreed with those who had volunteered to take voluntary severance packages (VSP).

The group said it had embarked on a consultation process with organised labour in January to cut 3000 jobs in a bid to streamline operations amid falling earnings and a tough economic environment.

Last week it said it had spent R1.5billion on its restructuring - in which some employees had opted for VSP and voluntary early retirement packages as an alternative to retrenchment - would hit its earnings in the 2020 financial year.

“Those who have opted for VSP will exit the organisation on the agreed dates and we thank them for their commitment to effective hand-overs during this challenging period.

"The health and safety of our employees are of the utmost priority,” Telkom said yesterday.

BUSINESS REPORT 

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