Vodacom in Dispute with Regulator Over Licensing Fees
Published on: 20th May 2013
By: Ian Mansfield
South Africa's Vodacom is denying that it owes R77.8 million (USD8.3 million) for overdue licensing fees to the telecoms regulator and is willing to go to court if necessary.
The local Sunday Times newspaper reported that the regulator, ICASA had been seeking a negotiated settlement in order to avoid a publicly embarrassing trial.
The regulator has been criticized in recent weeks over its failure to collect overdue payments, but also for not knowing in detail what those payments may be. Another mobile network, Cell C was forced to put out a public statement denying that it owed any money to the regulator.
The Vodacom dispute reportedly stems from a decision by the regulator to change how much it would charge in licensing fees for 2011/12.
The regulator later delayed the implementation of those changes, reportedly to offer tacit support to the state-controlled landline operator, Telkom which was setting up its own mobile network.
Vodacom contends that the last-minute delay was illegal and has refused to make up the extra payments.
On the web: IT Web