Telecommunications industry regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa), has summoned SA’s incumbent operators, including Telkom, Vodacom and MTN, to an urgent meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. It wants the operators to answer questions about their tariffs.
Icasa spokesman Sekgoela Sekgoela confirms that the operators have been called to a meeting and says its purpose is to discuss “the cost of communication” in SA. The Internet Service Providers’ Association has also been invited to attend, Sekgoela says.
Though details of the agenda of the closed-door meeting are not known, it is believed the issue of interconnect pricing — what the operators charge one another to carry calls between each other’s networks — will be a principal focus. The mobile operators, in particular, are coming under intense political pressure to reduce interconnect rates, which are set at a high R1,25/minute during peak times.
New communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda has made cutting interconnect rates a priority of government’s drive to bring down the cost of telecoms in the country.
Icasa is expected to issue a statement after the conclusion of the meeting, which begins at 10am. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral