Communications regulator Icasa should cut mobile termination rates to zero, Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos said on Friday.
Speaking in a wide-ranging podcast interview with TechCentral, Dos Santos said there is no reason that the rates — the fees that operators charge each other to carry calls between their networks — should not be reduced to zero.
Icasa recently kicked off the process of reviewing the wholesale rates, with the current regime set to expire at the end of September.
The current regulated rate for mobile termination is 13c/minute (with “asymmetry” to benefit smaller operators of 19c/minute).
“I will probably get criticised for this … but I think you should have zero terminating fees,” he said in the podcast.
“I’ve seen successful countries in Europe that took that approach and it’s been phenomenal.”
Dos Santos said there is “no cost” to terminate a call on a network. “If you really want to get petty about it, make it a fraction of a cent so you have income coming in and going out. That brings a whole new level of competition into the market.
“If you really want to create a competitive environment, bring it down to nought… That would give an incentive for a company like [Wireless Business Solutions] to play in the voice space. Right now, it’s just a data network, but if it was nought, maybe they’d play in the voice space, too.”
He argued that new players should enjoy the advantage of asymmetry to give them a leg-up into the industry. Over the past three years, Cell C and smaller rivals like Telkom Mobile have enjoyed asymmetry in termination with Vodacom and MTN.
“As you get your market share and revenues, you shouldn’t be paying any terminating rate [between networks].” — © 2017 NewsCentral Media
- Listen to the podcast with Jose Dos Santos