Communications regulator Icasa said on Tuesday that it will probe the just-signed expanded roaming agreement between MTN South Africa and Cell C.
Icasa said it has been informed of the roaming agreement by the two companies and noted that they have said the arrangement doesn’t require any regulatory approval.
It said in a statement that it has “commenced discussions with the parties to clarify their arrangement to the authority”.
“Acting in terms of regulation 8 (1)(a) schedule 2 of the regulations on standard terms and conditions for individual licences … the authority has requested both parties to provide all the agreements and associated information on the roaming transaction … for review and to assess compliance with the applicable law and regulations.”
Icasa CEO Willington Ngwepe said: “The question of whether any agreement that pertains to a regulated service or use of a licensed resource (such as spectrum) requires approval or triggers regulatory compliance requirements is one which the authority can never leave to the parties alone to determine.”
Cell C and MTN said on Monday that the deal “adheres to all applicable legal and regulatory requirements” in what may have been an effort designed to head off a potential challenge by rivals who may seek to derail the agreement through regulatory or court processes.
“Cell C and MTN will maintain their spectrum and each party will use its own frequencies,” Cell C said shortly after MTN announced the finalisation of the deal on Monday morning.
“Cell C will still have all of its licences and control its core network, transmission, billing system and subscriber management,” it said. However, management of the radio access network (base stations providing access to consumers) will be provided by MTN nationally.
The companies said the new roaming and services agreement will allow for network innovation and will promote efficient network infrastructure utilisation and sustainable investment in infrastructure. – © 2019 NewsCentral Media