More relaxed MNP proposals made public

10 Oct 2005

The Independent Communications Authority South Africa (ICASA) has announced details of the forthcoming introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) and the country’s cellcos have until July 2006 to put the necessary technology in place. ICASA has relaxed its original MNP proposals in a bid to keep the process simple and let market forces determine which operators benefit the most from the service. After operators roundly rejected the suggestion that a fixed ZAR200 fee be levied at users looking to switch networks, the regulator has dropped the plan and users will not be charged for leaving their existing operator, although a charge may be levied by the new provider that ports their number. Operators will carry the burden of introducing the service, which they claim will cost around ZAR600 million, though they can appeal to ICASA to have the costs taken into account when they next submit their annual tariffs for approval.