Communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda on Tuesday published a policy directive on mobile termination rates, the fees mobile operators charge one another to carry calls between their networks. The directive, which was expected, instructs the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to bring down the rates urgently.
The minister says a recent study commissioned by the department of communications showed that a key contributor to SA’s high telecommunications costs was “excessive interconnection rates, specifically mobile call termination rates”.
“In 2007, using purchasing power parity, SA’s average termination rates were 27,06 US cents compared to Korea whose rates were 5,02c; Malaysia, whose rates were 4,56c; and India, whose rates were 1,97c.”
The directive, published in the Government Gazette, instructs Icasa by 30 November to:
- Prescribe the regulations in terms of section 41 of the Electronic Communications Act;
- Take into consideration the department of communications’ benchmarking study on the cost to communicate.
- Lower mobile interconnection to a cost-based rate. — Staff reporter, TechCentral