South Africa's Regulator Revamps Mobile Termination Rates
Published on: 30th Jan 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
South Africa's telecoms regulator has revamped the mobile termination rates in a manner than delights the smaller operators and has annoyed the two larger networks.
Icasa has introduced an "aggressive asymmetry" to the rates that favours mobile networks with less than a 20% market share -- which is both Cell C and Telkom Mobile.
Under the new plans, the larger mobile networks will have to pay 44c/minute to Cell C and Telkom Mobile to accept inbound calls, while the two smaller networks only have to pay 20c/minute if they accept a call from a customer on the larger networks.
The rates have been set at an even more extreme disparity than even the smaller networks had expected.
The two larger networks, Vodacom and MTN have previously warned that setting the rates in such a way could be challenged in the courts if implemented by the regulator.
The share price of the two larger networks fell by around 5 percent on the news.
The mobile termination rates will fall again in March 2015 and 2016. From 2017, the threshold for the discounted MTR will only apply to mobile networks with less than a 10 percent market share.