Icasa approves cellphone rate cut

2010-02-11 09:21

THE Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) has approved

a cut in the rate charged by the three main cellphone operators to connect calls

between networks, Business Day reported today.


Vodacom, MTN and Cell C last month filed an agreement with Icasa

proposing a cut in the peak interconnection rate from R1,25 to 89 cents on March

1.


Icasa rejected the plan because it would have forced it to agree to

a fixed gradual reduction over three years.


The operators submitted revised agreements without the “glide path”

on Monday and Tuesday.


With the approval of those proposals, the peak rate will fall on

March 1, as initially planned.


Icasa said the rate reduction must be passed on to consumers.


It also plans to release draft call termination regulations next

month.


MTN’s Robert Madzonga said the speed of Icasa’s response was

commendable.


“We will immediately start making all the necessary technical

changes to ensure the rates come down on March 1.”


A Vodacom spokeswoman said the company was pleased the matter had

been handled quickly.


Lars Reichelt, CEO of Cell C, said the company had “championed this

cause in the interest of consumers and believes it is a significant step forward

in creating more competition in the market”.


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