Regulator rejects Telkom-MTN roaming deal

South Africa’s competition commission has rejected a proposed network sharing and roaming agreement between Telkom and MTN, citing competition concerns.

The country’s competition commission said it will not recommend the deal to the competition tribunal as the deal could be anti-competitive. 

Telkom and MTN South Africa have been in talks to extend their roaming agreement to include the outsourcing of Telkom’s radio access network (RAN).

A deal between the two would impact the structure of the mobile market in South Africa as well as limit the growth of Telkom's mobile unit as MTN would gain a significant advantage through access to its spectrum, according to the commission. 

“The access to additional spectrum capacity by MTN will confer first mover advantages to it relating to network speed, capacity and mobile offerings,” said the commission.

“MTN would be able to gain a significant competitive and time advantage, offering network and services that cannot be significantly constrained by rivals, particularly given the market position of Cell C and Telkom Mobile,” it added. 

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