Cell C has sidestepped a potential Competition Commission investigation after it revised its wholesale bulk SMS pricing rates to all wireless application service providers (Wasps), prompting the industry association, Waspa, to withdraw a member decision to lodge a complaint with the competition body.
Waspa members had previously “voted overwhelmingly” to refer Cell C to the commission after members complained the operator was offering “preferential pricing and exclusive services” to Blue Label Telecoms-owned company Cellfind.
Waspa members alleged that Cell C was offering Cellfind reduced rates for carrying machine-generated, or application-to-person (A2P), SMS traffic, causing major disruption to the market. Cell C denied the claim, saying that it was conducting a “technical trial” with Cellfind and that the trial had since come to an end.
The operator said it was in the process of implementing a new commercial model for Wasps. Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig said Wasps would be invited “to negotiate revised commercial agreements for A2P [messages] to give effect to the new commercial model”.
Cell C has since revised its bulk SMS rates, with the changes having come into effect at the beginning of April. Waspa says that, as a result of this development, “there is now no need to pursue lodging a Competition Commission complaint against Cell C in relation to bulk SMS provisioning”.
On Tuesday, Vodacom responded to Cell C’s price cuts with reductions of its own, cutting the cost of its wholesale bulk SMS products by 20%. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media