South Africa may reconsider mobile rate proposal

South African telecoms regulators have announced that they may reconsider plans to cut the amount mobile operators can charge one another to share networks in the country.

In January this year, regulators in the country decided they would halve the fees mobile companies can charge each other to use their networks, but have today announced that the cuts – planned for 2015 and 2016 – will be reassessed.

“In this case, we may review 2015 and 2016, mainly in trying to avert a very lengthy legal challenge,” said Paseka Maleka, a spokesperson for the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). “We will be re-consulting for those years.”

January’s announcement received mixed reviews and South African mobile operators Vodacom and MTN have asked a court in Johannesburg to halt the plans.

Vodacom estimated a revenue loss of R 1 billion ($92.01 million) if the planned cuts go ahead and said the proposal “rewards those who have not invested in their network at the expense of those who have”.

MTN announced plans to oppose ICASA’s plans in February this year.