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Vodacom to take Icasa to court

The mobile carrier will oppose Icasa’s decision to reduce termination rates for small operators.

Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub. Picture: Reinart Toerien.

JOHANNESBURG - Vodacom plans to launch a legal challenge against a regulatory cut in fees mobile carriers are allowed to charge each other, chief executive Shameel Joosub said on Wednesday.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) last week announced it would reduce termination rates for small cellphone operators.

The rates affect the fees companies charge each other for calls between different networks.

Operators such as Cell C and Telkom Mobile will see rates decrease from 40 cents to 20 cents from 1 March, the regulator revealed.

But big networks such as Vodacom and MTN will pay 44 cents per minute during calls to the smaller networks.

Joosub on Wednesday told analysts on a call the planned cut in mobile termination rates could cost the company R1 billion in the 2015 financial year.

Both MTN and Vodacom previously warned the regulator about being overly aggressive in reducing rates.

Icasa plans to continue bringing down the rates over the next three years.

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