Cell C High Court action over call costs

Cell C has lodged an application with the South Gauteng High Court over the call termination regulations that were enacted on 1 October 2014.

“Cell C does not agree with the current Call Termination Regulations as promulgated by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) in September 2014,” the mobile operator’s CEO Jose Dos Santos said.

To get a copy of the record leading to Icasa’s decision to promulgate these regulations, Cell C said it lodged the application with the court in December 2014.

“The ‘record’ is all correspondence between Icasa and the network operators and other parties, Icasa’s meeting minutes, reports from Icasa’s experts, presentations, and other documentation that shows what process Icasa followed and what information it relied on in making its decision,” Dos Santos said.

He said that once Cell C has received the full record and has studied it in detail with its legal advisors, economists, and other experts, it will decide what steps to take.

News of Cell C’s High Court application comes after the operator vowed it would fight the new call termination rates.

Speaking to attendees of the 2014 MyBroadband Conference, Dos Santos said they had no choice but to challenge the finalised rates that were unveiled the day before.

Call termination rates (CTRs) are the fees telecommunications providers pay one another to connect calls to each other’s networks.

The point of contention in the CTRs centres around the level of asymmetry afforded to smaller operators such as Cell C and Telkom’s mobile arm.

Asymmetry means that smaller operators are able to charge more to connect calls to their networks than Vodacom and MTN are allowed to charge in return.

Vodacom and MTN have stated they don’t want Cell C to be granted any asymmetry benefits, while Cell C has argued for greater asymmetry for it and Telkom.

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Cell C High Court action over call costs