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Icasa: There’s been a significant drop in data prices

Icasa says there has been a decline in voice revenue due to consumption shifting towards data usage.

Picture: freeimages.com

CAPE TOWN - The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has told parliamentarians there has been a significant drop in the price of data in recent years.

Icasa is among those addressing the Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal services at Parliament.

Earlier, the Telecommunications Department called on Icasa to probe the competition or lack thereof between networks.

Icasa says there has been a decline in voice revenue due to consumption shifting towards data usage.

The authority's Willington Ngwepe says this increase has resulted in prices dropping by 45 percent since 2010.

"There's been a decrease in the average effective price that's charged per megabyte as operators continue to compete for operators."

Ngwepe adds not all consumers can afford to buy bigger bundles, which have a lower per megabyte rate.

He says this needs to be addressed.

The Telecommunications Department says the high price of communication services is hampering South Africa's competitiveness.

There's been a public outcry over the high costs of data and the department's Willie Vukela says they are aware of the issue.

He says operators with significant market power charge higher rates.

Vukela adds this ineffective and skewed competition necessitates regulation to reduce data tariffs.