Telkom approached the Competition Tribunal today to declare the suite of spectrum arrangements between Vodacom and Rain as a merger.
According to Telkom, this merger should have been notifiable in terms of the Competition Act.
Telkom contends that the merger is notifiable because the multiple agreements between Vodacom and Rain grant Vodacom use and control over the deployment of Rain’s spectrum.
This includes the planning, rollout, maintenance, and service of its Rain’s radio access network.
According to Telkom Group Executive for Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations Siyabonga Mahlangu, Vodacom’s ability to control Rain’s spectrum entrenches its position as a dominant player in a highly concentrated market.
“It is important that the effects of spectrum arrangements on competition are scrutinised,” said Mahlangu.
“Particularly, in light of the upcoming spectrum auction which will set the ground for the nature of competition in the mobile market for the foreseeable future,” he continues.
Telkom is asking the Competition Tribunal to find that the arrangements constitute a notifiable merger and should be subjected to scrutiny by the competition authorities.
Rain CEO Willem Roos said they currently provide non-exclusive roaming services to Vodacom through an arrangement which has been scrutinized and approved by the Competition Commission and ICASA.
He added that Rain competes fiercely in the retail 4G and 5G data markets in South Africa with innovative and affordable unlimited products.