I will fix this damn industry: Alan Knott-Craig

Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig said that while he was once proud of the mobile industry in South Africa which he helped to build, this is no longer the case and he is now making it his business to fix the industry.

Speaking at the 2013 MyBroadband conference, Knott-Craig said that “I take a little bit of responsibility for this industry that was built – and I was proud of the industry, but not any more”.

“Now I am on the other side of the fence and I will make it my business to fix this damn industry,” said Knott-Craig.

“This is not a personal crusade – but don’t make me make it a personal crusade, because I promise you I will fix it.”

In his presentation Knott-Craig focussed on the need for lower mobile termination rates in the country, with asymmetry to assist the smaller players to compete against Vodacom and MTN.

Knott-Craig added that Vodacom and MTN’s lower on-net call rates are “very anti-competitive”.

“One of the biggest anti-competitive things you can have in a market – where 90% of the revenue is sitting with two operators – is where they are keeping subscribers’ traffic on their networks through on-net rates,” Knott-Craig explained.

“It is a thing which was started in the industry for all the right reasons in the 1990s, and carried on in the 2000s – it is anti-competitive now.”

On 8 October 2013 Cell C lodged a complaint against Vodacom and MTN with the competition commission, urging the body to investigate their discrimination between off-net and on-net rates.

“I will personally ensure that we have a level playing field in this country so that we can compete,” said Knott-Craig.

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I will fix this damn industry: Alan Knott-Craig