There is going to be a large political push for further mobile termination rate cuts in South Africa, according to Dominic Cull, regulatory advisor for the Internet Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (ISPA).
This will follow the last round of rate cuts expected to come in force in March this year (2013), which will reduce termination rates to R0.40 for both peak and off-peak calls.
Cull went on to say that the termination rate for fixed calls should probably be higher than mobile because it’s far more costly to maintain a fixed line subscriber.
The current plan laid out by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has fixed line termination rates much lower than that of mobile calls.
Asked whether a termination rate of R0 would be beneficial in South Africa, deputy chair of the Wireless Access Providers’ Association of South Africa, Mohammad Patel, explained that it wouldn’t be good for voice over IP (VoIP) players.
Patel said that without a termination rate it would not be possible for legitimate VoIP providers to run their network.
Fly-by-night operators would be able to offer free calls to everyone, their networks would not be able to handle the traffic, and in so doing would make it impossible for existing VoIP providers to stay in business, Patel said.
Marc Furman, co-chair of the Internet Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (ISPA) said that from their perspective, a zero termination rate is not going to be an early term proposal.