Vodacom, Telkom on track for roaming move from MTN - TechCentral

Vodacom, Telkom on track for roaming move from MTN

Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub, left, and Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko signing the roaming agreement in November 2018

Vodacom and Telkom will complete the work they need to do for their roaming agreement by the June deadline, Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub said this week.

Speaking to TechCentral after publication of the group’s annual results for the 12 months ended 31 March 2019, Joosub said the project is on track to be finalised next month.

“The full migration will be done by June,” he said.

It was announced in November that Telkom mobile users would in future roam on Vodacom’s network, not MTN’s, after the two cellular operators concluded a new, multibillion-rand roaming deal. The migration work began in December.

Telkom customers will be able to roam on Vodacom’s 4G network, whereas the agreement with MTN was restricted to the slower 2G and 3G technologies only. The agreement extends to facilities leasing, too, meaning that Telkom can build infrastructure on Vodacom towers.

The deal with Vodacom comes after Cell C announced last year that it would terminate its 2G and 3G roaming deal with Vodacom in favour of a broader roaming agreement with MTN that includes 4G/LTE.

Seamless handover

Cell C’s deal with Vodacom will not be renewed when it expires in 2020, while its roaming arrangement with MTN has already come into effect.

The agreement between Telkom and Vodacom includes seamless handover, meaning a call won’t drop if it is passed by a Telkom tower to a Vodacom tower.

There will also be no geographic restrictions as there are in the deal between Cell C and MTN. This means that even if a Telkom subscriber is in Johannesburg, and has Telkom signal, they can still choose to roam onto Vodacom’s network if they prefer.

Joosub wouldn’t be drawn this week on the revenue it will make from the Telkom roaming agreement, but said the impact of the termination by Cell C of its roaming deal with the company will be “made up with revenue from Telkom”. — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media

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