SA’s Communications Watchdog Amends Phone Charges Regulations

ICASA said these regulations are part of the broader measures to reduce the cost to communicate and will be applicable from 01 October 2018.

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A user making a phone call and hoping phone charges will go down.
A user making a phone call and hoping phone charges will go down. (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

ICASA, South Africa’s communications watchdog, has amended its call termination regulations after operators raised concerns.

Call Terminations are the fees charged by Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom to handle calls from other providers.

The regulator is planning to cut phone fees as part of its move to pave way for cheaper calls.

The regulator said on Wednesday that it has completed the process to review the 2014 Call Termination Regulations and will publish the final 2018 Call Termination Regulations in the government gazette on 28 September 2018.

The final Regulations amend the 2014 Call Termination Regulations by revising the wholesale voice call termination rates for operators with more than a 20% share of total minutes terminated in the wholesale voice market, a glide path period.

They state that where a charge for terminating a call at a fixed location would be 0.09c from October 2018 to September 2019; 0.07c for the period October 2019 to September 2020; and 0.06c from October 2020 onwards.

Furthermore, where a charge for terminating a call at a mobile location would be 0.12c from October 2018 to September 2019; 0.10c for the period October 2019 to September 2020; and 0.09c from October 2020 onwards.

ICASA added that for operators with 20% or less share of total minutes terminated in the wholesale voice market, a charge for terminating a call at a fixed location would be 0.10c from October 2018 to September 2019; 0.08c for the period October 2019 to September 2020; 0.06c from October 2020 onwards.

For a call at a mobile location would be 0.18c from October 2018 to September 2019; 0.16c for the period October 2019 to September 2020; and 0.13c from October 2020 onwards.

ICASA said these regulations are part of the broader measures to reduce the cost to communicate and will be applicable from 01 October 2018.

The regulator said it believes that the wholesale call termination rates as contained in the final regulations will aid in transitioning the market towards a more competitive landscape as contemplated in the objects of the Electronic Communications Act, 2005.

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