Some more equal than others with Icasa: Wasps, licensees

Some wireless access service providers (Wasps) and ECNS Licence holders are fed up with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) for approving some Application to Person (A2P) SMS interconnect agreements, but not others.

The Application to Person (A2P) SMS interconnect agreements allow for the sending of cross network commercial SMS messages from one network to another.

The agreements also supports the monitoring of spam SMS messages sent to protect customers from getting SMS spam.

MyBroadband received information that the regulator is sitting with around 20 signed commercial agreements waiting for approval. “There are no grounds for Icasa not to approve these agreements,” said a Wasp owner who asked to remain anonymous.

“The companies involved have signed the agreements and are happy to proceed. Why is Icasa not approving these agreements, after approving similar agreements just weeks ago?” he said.

According to a source, the regulator has yet to send out official communication as to why these A2P agreements have not been approved

He explained that the approval of some, but not all of these agreements is creating an uneven playing field in the provision of A2P (Application to Person) SMS services.

Pieter Streicher from BulkSMS said that their view is that Icasa should sign all agreements, since it has already signed several.

“Not signing an agreement of a party already connected to the incumbent operators provides a loophole for sending SMS messages for free,” he said.

“If there is unhappiness about the SMS interconnect fee, then Icasa should do a thorough market analysis and set an appropriate fee. However, in the interim, the agreed prices should be charged between operators.”

Icasa was asked for comment regarding this issue, but no feedback was received by the time of publication.

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Some more equal than others with Icasa: Wasps, licensees