Vodacom’s position on government’s WOAN plan

Vodacom has outlined its latest position on the government’s plan to implement a Wholesale Open Access Network (WOAN).

Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said the company supports a compromise between existing regulations and the WOAN proposed by the government.

“On the regulatory front in South Africa, we will be submitting a detailed response to the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services regarding its proposed amendments to the Electronic Communications Act,” said Joosub in Vodacom’s latest trading update.

“We remain of the opinion that a hybrid between what is currently in place and the proposed Wholesale Open Access Network addresses the government’s transformation mandate and will have a greater impact on driving down the cost to communicate for customers compared with the proposed amendments to the Electronic Communications Act.”

If the WOAN is implemented as is, high-demand spectrum will be assigned on an open access basis – with the regulator consulting the industry regarding spectrum assignment.

The Electronics Communications Amendment Bill states that once implemented, the WOAN will be required to provide wholesale open access to its network and facilities, and active infrastructure sharing, which includes radio access networks and national roaming, must take place.

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Vodacom’s position on government’s WOAN plan