Cell C will fight new call termination rates: CEO

Cell C plans to legally challenge the new call termination rate regulations announced by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), CEO Jose dos Santos has announced.

Speaking to attendees of the MyBroadband Conference on Tuesday, 30 September 2014, Dos Santos said that they had no choice but to challenge the finalised rates that were unveiled the day before.

Icasa announced its finalised regulations on Monday after the High Court struck down its previous call termination rate regulations as unlawful and invalid.

The court suspended the declaration of invalidity for 6 months, giving Icasa until the end of September to come up with new regulations.

Based on feedback from the industry, most operators are unhappy with the new regulations in some way.

“This process has been constructive and is a good example of how the industry can work with the regulator to get to a scientifically based result,” Vodacom said in a statement on Monday. “We appreciate Icasa’s willingness to consult with industry players.”

The operator said it is going to review the new rates and will be in a better position to provide comment once that has been completed.

“We have some concerns about the asymmetry granted to certain companies and the potential impact that this could have on our business,” Vodacom said.

This suggests that Icasa will soon have to deal with some operators arguing that Cell C should not receive any asymmetry, while Cell C argues that it should receive even greater asymmetry.

Asymmetry means that smaller operators such as Telkom’s mobile arm and Cell C are able to charge more to connect calls to their networks than Vodacom and MTN are allowed to charge in return.

The changes in mobile termination rates are summarised in the table below.

Year Old mobile termination rates New mobile termination rates
Regulated rate Asymmetry Regulated rate Asymmetry
2014/15 R0.20 R0.44 (120%) R0.20 R0.31 (55%)
2015/16 R0.15 R0.42 (180%) R0.16 R0.24 (50%)
2016/17 R0.10 R0.40 (300%) R0.13 R0.19 (46%)

More on call termination rates in South Africa

New call termination rates finalised

Cell C rips into Vodacom, MTN, Icasa

Telkom big winner in new Icasa call rates

Icasa must stop guessing

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Cell C will fight new call termination rates: CEO