Cell C likely to challenge ICASA’s final MTRs in court

1 Oct 2014

Jose Dos Santos, CEO of South African wireless operator Cell C, has revealed that the company is likely to challenge telecoms regulator ICASA’s final decision relating to mobile termination rates (MTRs). TechCentral cites the executive as saying: ‘From where we sit … we are not left with too much choice but to take this as a legal challenge. It is what it is. We are still reviewing [the regulations, but] we will probably have a legal challenge on our hands in the coming days and weeks.’ Mr Santos however did not disclose on what legal basis the company intends to fight the new regulations. Previously, in early September Cell C expressed its disappointment with the regulator’s proposed termination rates and accused it of making ‘a dramatic U-turn’ by stating that ‘the massive proposed reduction in asymmetry completely eliminates any pro-competitive remedy.’

As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, yesterday the regulator revealed its final MTRs for the period 1 October 2014 to 30 September 2017, which give smaller players ‘slightly better asymmetry’ than the one proposed in its draft regulation from early September. From 1 October 2014, the asymmetry MTR rate is set at ZAR0.31 (USD0.03) per minute, before dropping to ZAR0.24 per minute (38%) in October 2015. A further reduction, to ZAR0.19, will occur in 2016. Previously, ICASA proposed to cut the asymmetry MTR rate to ZAR0.30 from 1 October 2014, ZAR0.22 per minute (March 2015), ZAR0.16 (2016) and ZAR0.10 (2017).