SA’s Telecoms Watchdog to Scrutinize MTN-Cell C Roaming Deal

“The question of whether any agreement that pertains to a regulated service or use of a licensed resource (such as spectrum) requires approval or triggers regulatory compliance requirements is one which the authority can never leave to the parties alone to determine."

cell c
cell c

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has requested both MTN and Cell C to provide all the agreements and associated information on the roaming transaction for review and to assess compliance with the applicable law and regulations.

On Monday, MTN South Africa disclosed that it has signed a new long-form roaming and services agreement with Cell C, subject to certain conditions precedent.

In May 2018, Cell C signed its first roaming agreement with MTN, providing Cell C with 2G, 3G and 4G roaming services on MTN’s network in select areas of South Africa. The new agreement will see this access expanded to enable Cell C to roam on MTN’s network in all areas of the country. For more read: Cell C Finalise a New Roaming Plan With MTN SA

Following further statements suggesting that the arrangement does not require any regulatory approval, the country’s telecoms watchdog said it has commenced discussions with the parties to clarify their arrangement.

ICASA said it has been informed of the roaming agreement by the parties.

Acting in terms of Regulation 8 (1)(a) Schedule 2 of the Regulations on Standard Terms and Conditions for Individual Licences, 2010 as amended in March 2016, the regulator said it has requested both parties to provide all the agreements and associated information on the roaming transaction to the Authority for review and to assess compliance with the applicable law and regulations.

“The question of whether any agreement that pertains to a regulated service or use of a licensed resource (such as spectrum) requires approval or triggers regulatory compliance requirements is one which the authority can never leave to the parties alone to determine,” says ICASA CEO, Willington Ngwepe.

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