Commission: Icasa should control MTR negotiations

2009-10-14 13:06

THE Competition Commission today called for the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to play a greater regulatory role in determining cellphone interconnection rates.

Icasa should also ensure that these rates were set on a defensible basis, commissioner Shan Ramburuth told the Parliament’s communications committee.

The committee is currently holding public hearings on what it says is the excessive and exorbitant costs of mobile termination rates (MTR) in the industry. The MTR is the fee a network charges another for terminating or completing calls on its network.

“We shouldn’t be guessing these figures... you must also be able to justify how you arrived at a particular figure,” Ramburuth said.
Any figure arrived at arbitrarily might be subject to challenge.

Icasa had costing information available, in its code of account/cost allocation manual (Coa/Cam) study, which would allow it to arrive at a defensible interim figure.

This should allow for a substantial but reasonable once-off reduction on the basis of the costing methodology applied in the Coa/Cam.
The commission also supported further reductions over the next three years, but this should also be done on a defensible basis, Ramburuth said.

A question that had arisen for Icasa, in determining an interim rate, was whether such rates should be bilaterally or multilaterally negotiated by the incumbents.

If the price setting process was led and enforced by Icasa, competition law concerns arising from either bilateral or multilateral discussions would fall away.

However, competition problems might arise in cases where private firms engaged in multilateral discussions independent of the regulatory process.

Therefore, the commission favoured a greater regulatory role for Icasa in determining call termination rates, and that Icasa ensure that these rates were set on a defensible basis, Ramburuth said.

Join the conversation! 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. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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


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 network.


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.