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Cell C takes swipe at MTN

The two companies have been at loggerheads since Icasa proposed lower mobile termination rates.

Cell C has suggested that MTN overcharges subscribers. Picture: Stock.xchng.

JOHANNESBURG - Cell C on Tuesday took a swipe at MTN for a newspaper advert defending its tariffs.

In the open letter, MTN outlined various ways in which it introduced cheaper call rates.

In response, Cell C used the exact same advert but omitted some of the text revealing a different message, which suggests MTN admits to overcharging subscribers.

MTN's Teresa Budler says, "We realise they came back with a knock-off of our letter on Sunday. We have significant offers in the market at the moment that speak to price, but we choose not to go for price fighting strategies."

The two mobile companies have been at loggerheads since the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) proposed a decline in mobile termination rates.

These tariffs affect the fees companies charge each other for calls between different networks.

Under Icasa's proposal, operators such as Cell C and Telkom Mobile would see rates decrease from 40 cents to 20 cents.

On 5 March, Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko told The Money Show, "These companies [MTN and Vodacom] are at least 30 times larger than Telkom."

He says the reduction will make the playing field more even.

The CEO says both companies earn exorbitant profits from these termination rates, for something they never worked for.

The changes were initially meant to come into effect on 1 March, but the date was later moved to 1 May following legal action by Vodacom and MTN.

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