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MTN appeals to govt to relook at controversial communications bill

It has told Parliament that the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill in its current form will be harmful to the sector and risk the digital future of the country.

Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – Mobile service provider, MTN, has appealed to the government to return to the drawing board on a controversial new communications bill aimed at allocating more digital spectrum and bringing down data costs.

It has told Parliament that the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill in its current form will be harmful to the sector and risk the digital future of the country.

Parliament has this week been holding public hearings on the bill, which some have described as unconstitutional.

MTN CEO Godfrey Motsa says the mobile operator is not opposed to a wireless open access network but says the amount of spectrum allocated to it, should be better balanced.

Motsa has however appealed to the government to speed up the allocation of spectrum, which it says can be done under current regulations.

“We believe when we are given the spectrum, we will reduce prices significantly. We are not saying that because it’s an election year, next year.”

He says forcing big players in the industry to share their infrastructure at minimal cost is not the way to bring down costs for consumers.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)