Public Platform: Call Termination Rates Debate
4 June 2014
A price war has recently broken out in South Africa among mobile operators after ICASA, the telecommunications regulator, slashed call termination rates.
These are the wholesale rates that operators pay one another to terminate calls between networks. Retail voice prices have fallen as low as an effective R0.55/minute for prepaid, according to Vodacom, for calls from the Vodacom network, and to as low as R0.66/minute on the Cell C network (though effective rates, including specials and discounts, may be even lower). MTN has also reduced its retail calling prices. The High Court recently set aside ICASA's decision to lower mobile call termination rates, though it suspended its decision by six months. MTN and Vodacom argue that the asymmetry in ICASA's decision, which allows Cell C and Telkom Mobile to charge higher call termination rates than MTN and Vodacom are allowed to charge, unfairly favours Cell C and Telkom Mobile. MTN and Vodacom also argue that lower call termination rates may result in less investment into their networks.
An expert panel including Ryan Hawthorne (CCRED), Charley Lewis (Link Centre), Dominic Cull (Ellipsis) and Angus Hay (Neotel) debated these issues.
Venue: Protea Hotel Balaika Sandton
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