Neotel breaks silence on termination rates

Neotel will work with the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to ensure the High Court directive on call termination rates in South Africa is implemented, a spokesperson for the company recently told MyBroadband.

The court ruling in question was handed down on Monday, 31 March 2014 by Judge Haseena Mayat who found Icasa’s regulations unlawful and invalid.

She suspended the declaration of invalidity for 6 months and directed mobile network operators to implement the rate cuts prescribed by Icasa on Tuesday, 1 April 2014 for six months while Icasa revises its regulations.

This means that the fees network operators pay one another to connect calls to their respective networks will come down from 40c per minute to 20c.

Cell C and Telkom Mobile will enjoy increased asymmetry, which means they can charge Vodacom and MTN 44c/minute to place calls to the smaller networks.

Neotel said that considering this is not a permanent solution to the multi-faceted challenge, it will work with Icasa during this 6-month period “to ensure that the best outcome is obtained for South African consumers, the industry and Neotel.”

While Neotel did not answer questions on whether it would drop its call rates from Tuesday, this feedback from the operator breaks its silence on the call termination rate battle between MTN/Vodacom, and Cell C/Telkom/Icasa.

Neotel finds itself in the uncomfortable position of benefiting from the rate cuts, while also being in acquisition talks with Vodacom, who opposed Icasa’s new regulations.

In the past, Neotel was the only operator that consistently dropped their prices on the date that new termination rates kicked in.

More on call termination rates in South Africa

The simple truth: Icasa messed up

Hollow victory for MTN, Vodacom in termination battle

Mobile call termination regulations changed again

Vodacom, MTN win one battle in MTR war

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Neotel breaks silence on termination rates