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South Africa Ponders Call Termination Change
The next couple of months should be important ones for call termination regulation in South Africa. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa wants to change call termination rates and rules to make communications more affordable in the country.
“Since 2010 the termination rates have been reduced by approximately 90%, and this has contributed to the significant decline in retail rates over the years,” ICASA explained.
ICASA wants to keep that trend going. In an effort to do that, the authority this month drafted proposed changes.
The draft proposes “a glide path period where a charge for terminating a call on mobile and fixed location would be 12c and 8c respectively, from October 2018 to September 2019; 10c and 5c for the period October 2019 to September 2020; and 9c and 3c from October 2020 onwards.”
Interested parties have until Sept. 7 to provide the regulatory body with their input on these proposed changes. ICASA will then consider the feedback, may tweak its draft, and expects regulatory changes to go into effect in October.
Telkom has suggested th proposed timeline is not realistic. It’s calling for fee parity among all network operators, regardless of their size. And it says the ICASA proposal will result in layoffs and less competition rather than more.
Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko was quoted in a media report saying: “The proposed fixed termination rates require cost reductions that are not feasible within a three-year time frame without significant job losses and do not recogni[z]e that the telecoms landscape has changed to such an extent that there is one converged voice market, rather than separate fixed and mobile markets.”
Maseko, who in another report said Telkom has subsidized its competitors’ networks, added: “The lasting impact of these decisions could well be working against ICASA’s objectives to promote competition and continue to reduce the cost to communicate for South African telecoms users.”
Edited by Maurice Nagle