Ruling stuns SA telecoms market

2008-08-29 00:00

Johannesburg — The South African telecommunications landscape has been fundamentally changed as of yesterday morning when a judge ruled in favour of Altech Autopage’s High Court application essentially appealing for all network service providers to be allowed to build their own networks.

It effectively takes the “managed” part out of the liberalisation process and could throw the market wide open to competitive forces.

The judgement means that telecommunications regulator Icasa – unless it appeals – would have to cast aside its competitive process for determining which value-added network service providers (Vans) qualify for Electronic Communications Network Service (ECNS) licences under the Electronic Communications Act, and grant these to any operators that want to build their own networks.

The winners will be those operators that have the funding, and importantly the black economic empowerment (BEE) credentials (Icasa says they’ll need 51% BEE ownership), to be able to successfully qualify.

The matter dates back to a 2004 ministerial determination in which Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri made a statement that as of February 1, 2005, “value-added network services may also be provided by telecommunications facilities other than those provided by Telkom and the second national operator or any of them”. Icasa interpreted this as that the Vans could self-provide, but later backtracked. The minister argued she had never intended that to be the case, and this is the line that she and Icasa fought in response to Altech’s court application.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.