A flurry of initiatives aimed at achieving a reduction in mobile termination rates will provide interesting sidesdows, but beneath the politics of the moment, the real action remains an intimate dance between the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) and the mobile networks. The initial mobile termination rate, also known as interconnection rate, of 20c/minute was set between Vodacom and MTN on 8 August 1994. This was amended on 28 May 1999, shortly after it was announced by government that a third mobile cellular telecommunications licence would be issued.
SA consumers got their first taste of a broadband price war last week when a small Internet service provider, Afrihost, slashed the price of bandwidth to below cost. It’s a promising start, but matters little until Telkom is forced to open its network to rivals. It was a ballsy move. Last week, Afrihost cut the cost of fixed-line bandwidth on broadband digital subscriber lines to just R29/GB. To put that in perspective, the average selling price for this type of bandwidth has, until now, been R50-R70/GB
The parliamentary portfolio committee on communications is expected to issue a statement late on Tuesday in which it will call on mobile network operators to reduce…