One of the most important sets of telecommunications regulations in years will be published this Friday by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa). The authority has confirmed an earlier TechCentral report that it will publish regulations this Friday setting out how it plans to bring down wholesale call termination rates.
The industry is on tenterhooks ahead of the announcement, which could see dramatic cuts in termination rates, the fees the operators charge one another to carry calls on their networks. Media and other interested parties have been invited to attend the public briefing, which will take place in the block C presentation room at Icasa’s offices at Pin Mill Farm, 164 Katherine Street, Sandton starting at 9.30am.
Earlier this year, Icasa had proposed cutting mobile termination rates to a uniform 65c/minute by mid-2010, and to 40c/minute and 30c/minute in 2011 and 2012. It now appears likely that the first cut will only take place in the first quarter of 2011, with further cuts in 2012 and 2013.
It’s also expected that the regulations will reveal that Icasa has backed away from initial plans for aggressive cuts to fixed-line termination rates.
At hearings called by Icasa in June, operators raised a number of concerns, mainly around the proposed glide path and how this could negatively affect their businesses. “Counter to this, however, was the desired result of enhanced competition that would ultimately benefit consumers through a reduction in retail prices,” Icasa says.
“Owing to concerns raised by stakeholders during the public hearings and in the interest of balancing the authority’s triple mandate of ensuring fair prices to consumers, promoting competition in the ICT sector and ensuring a favourable investment environment, the authority held further one-on-one meetings with those stakeholders that requested the opportunity to do so.”
Icasa has now finalised this process and will publish the final call termination regulations in the Government Gazette on Friday. — Staff reporter, TechCentral
- See also: Icasa to publish call tariff regulations