The Internet Service Providers’ Association (Ispa) wants communications regulator Icasa to focus on more than just voice call termination rates, and believes there needs to be a greater emphasis on dealing with the cost of mobile data services in South Africa.
“The growth is in data, and Ispa believes that it is well past time for Icasa to get to grips with the competitive and pricing issues relating to broadband and data services.”
Cull says the high cost of mobile data services and a lack of wholesale offerings from the network operators is problematic. The operators continue, in the absence of regulatory pressure, to drag their feet on introducing genuine wholesale offerings, he adds. Such offerings would “facilitate downstream competition and lead to lower retail prices as has happened in the fixed-line data market”.
“Icasa’s thinly-stretched resources are consumed by processes and litigation addressing issues that changes in technology are making increasingly irrelevant in the medium to long term. The regulator has very limited capacity to plan for what is coming.”
He says it is inevitable that everything, including voice, will converge over Internet protocol (IP)-based communication networks and so a “shift in focus is required”.
“What we would like to see is more emphasis being placed on what a world — where all services, including voice calls, are received through an IP or broadband connection — will look like.” — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media