The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) plans to discuss ways of reducing the cost to communicate in South Africa.
Its “cost to communicate” programme will review regulations that affect telecoms costs, it says. Regulations up for discussion include mobile termination rates — the fees operators charge rivals to carry calls between their networks — and the local-loop unbundling framework.
Icasa says the programme stems from concerns about the high cost to communicate raised by various private entities and government and will look into price transparency.
The mobile termination rate glide path that was set out in 2010, and that resulted in wholesale rates declining from R1,25/minute to 40c/minute this year, has resulted in reductions in mobile and fixed-line telephony retail prices but Icasa remains concerned about the cost of communications and believes competition in the market is still inadequate.
During her budget speech last month, communications minister Dina Pule said she “intends to issue a policy directive on transparent pricing of services such as SMS, voice and data to ensure market pricing transparency for the benefit of consumers”.
Icasa says the programme’s processes will accommodate Pule’s policy directive when it is issued.
Interested parties are invited to attend a media briefing session at Icasa’s offices in Sandton on Friday at 10am. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media