Free data for all South Africans in radical regulatory intervention

Chris_the_Brit

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The Competition Commission on Monday unveiled surprisingly broad-ranging, tough and radical interventions in the data services market, including a proposal that mobile operators be forced to give South Africans a free allocation of daily data.

Competition commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said all mobile operators must reach an agreement within three months that will provide a monthly “lifeline” package of daily free data “to ensure all citizens have data access on a continual basis”.
Other radical — some might argue populist — interventions that the commission is demanding include:

  • That Vodacom and MTN immediately reduce prices in agreement with the commission, with Bonakele arguing this could be between 30% and 50%. “Failure to reach this agreement within two months will lead the commission to consider prosecution for excessive pricing or other exclusionary abuses.
  • That Vodacom and MTN must independently reach an agreement with the commission, also within two months, on the reduction of headline prices of all 500MB 30-day prepaid data bundles to reflect same cost per megabyte of 500MB 30-day bundles on post-paid or contract plans. “We are calling for the removal of the price discrimination for those data bundles.”
  • That Vodacom and MTN must immediately reach an agreement with the commission to cease practices that may facilitate price discrimination against the poor.
  • That all mobile operators must reach an agreement with the commission within three months on a consistent, industry-wide approach to zero-rating content for public benefit organisations and similar entities.
  • That all mobile operators must reach agreement with the commission within three months to inform each subscriber on a monthly basis on the effective price of all data consumed by such a customer.
  • That Telkom’s wholesale business Openserve must reach an agreement with the commission on substantial price reductions for IPConnect to reduce “excessive pricing concerns that are highlighted in the main report”. IPConnect is the service bought by Internet service providers to access Openserve’s wholesale network made up of ADSL and fibre lines.
 

bwana

B MyBroadband
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yebocan

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That Telkom’s wholesale business Openserve must reach an agreement with the commission on substantial price reductions for IPConnect to reduce “excessive pricing concerns that are highlighted in the main report”.
Yes , please!
 
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Currantly

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So what's going to happen to those on contracts...will we also receive a 30-50% discount on the data part of our monthly charge?
 

konfab

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This is probably going to get shafted in court when MTN and Vodacom challenge it. How is it in the realm of competition to force companies to hand out their products for free?

Pick and Pay are not obligated to provide people with free food.
Edgar's are not obligated to provide clothes for free.
Dischem isn't obligated to provide your medicine for free.
 

NarrowBandFtw

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How is it in the realm of competition to force companies to hand out their products for free?
What about our communist ANC guavamint has led you to believe they've ever been interested in this colonial concept of "competition"?!?

Pick and Pay are not obligated to provide people with free food.
Edgar's are not obligated to provide clothes for free.
Dischem isn't obligated to provide your medicine for free.
for the love of all that is good, stop giving them ideas comrade konfab!!!
 

Nanfeishen

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Been over charging us for years , feel peanuts for complaints and excuses.
They can easily afford to give a percentage amount of data for free.
 

zippy

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Been over charging us for years , feel peanuts for complaints and excuses.
They can easily afford to give a percentage amount of data for free.
Just call it the base line package. In other words everyone is, in reality, forced to buy the min data set out in regulations. Therefore there will be on mobile sim deal that excludes data. Use it or don’t use it.

Market it as :
“Entry level sim R180pm which includes 500meg free data as mandated by the regulator. Enjoy. You can upgrade to our level 1 data package of 1g for only an extra R300pm :)

Nothing is free. Only perceived as being free.
 

ArtyLoop

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Ain't gonna happen. Vodacom especially will fight this tooth and nail.
And yes, I can't mention names (because the banhammer)
 

SAguy

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Nov 4, 2013
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One positive is that it will hopefully enable students to be able to have access to more information and access to online courses - something not really possible before.

Negatives, sure - but this makes education more accessible.
 
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