This came after Cell C and Vodacom slashed their pre-paid call rates to 99c a minute on Wednesday 16 May.
“Consumers trust incumbent mobile operators less than estate agents these days. You just have to observe MTN and Vodacom’s response to Cell C’s announcement to understand why. Consumers know when they are being ripped off and are not fooled by mobile operator spin doctors,” said Holdsworth.
“Cell C’s R0.99 per minute, charged per second from the first second, is the first meaningful reduction in a mobile voice tariff for many years.”
Holdsworth said that special offers and calling schemes that require consumers to jump through hoops to qualify does not match up to Cell C’s ‘real’ pre-paid price cuts.
“This is an excellent first step by Cell C in restoring consumer confidence in mobile networks and I have no doubt that it is the first of many surprises that Cell C has in store consumers,” the AppChat founder said.
“Cell C is now setting the pace in the mobile market and I hope consumers reward their vision and courage by switching to Cell C. I have already ported my number today.”
AppChat to shake up the market further
Holdsworth explained that the court case which he is currently involved in restricts him from revealing his plans, but said that he will be making an announcement on the AppChat offer in mid-June 2012.
“I cannot say much more at this stage, other than make sure you put your safety belt on, because between Cell C and AppChat consumers are in for a heck of a ride in the next couple of years,” said Holdsworth.
Cut mobile termination rates further
Holdsworth joined Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig in calling for further mobile termination rate (MTR) reductions.
“I think MTR’s should come down to R00.25 or even less. In the UK, Offcom with the support of the competition authorities has just reduced MTR’s to R0.05. With competition in place there is no doubt that those reductions will eventually get passed onto consumers,” said Holdsworth.
“I will personally be campaigning for cost based interconnect, and also for Cell C to be given digital dividend spectrum by ICASA.”
Holdsworth argues that operators that are driving change in the market ought to be rewarded. “Cell C initiated the recent cuts in mobile broadband and has now done the same with mobile voice, previously considered untouchable,” said Holdsworth.
“It’s about time that we saw some real change in the market and not just the usual smoke and mirrors special offers,” Holdsworth concluded.