South Africa: ISPA Supports ICASA’s Mobile Data Competition Probe

According to South Africa's Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA), the best ICT industry news that came out of 2018 in South Africa was the communications regulator's decision to launch an inquiry into mobile broadband competition in the country.

ISPA has welcomed the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA)’s publishing of a formal statement of its intention to undertake an inquiry into competition in the supply of mobile broadband services.

ISPA’s regulatory advisor, Dominic Cull said that this investigation cut straight to the heart of the cost to communicate in South Africa and, together with the collaboration of the communications-focused government ministries, was the best ICT industry news that came out of 2018, in his opinion.
He said that this was probably the most significant regulatory process that ICASA had ever undertaken, and that it should have the support of all South Africans.
Cull added that this inquiry would be similar to the investigation that had led to the regulation of voice call termination rates.

ISPA issued a statement saying that the inquiry into voice call termination rates had led to massive reductions in the wholesale prices charged between operators, with a direct effect on pricing to the consumers for voice communications.
Now ICASA is looking into taking similar measures for mobile data.

ISPA said that the legal process to be followed would be complicated and that ICASA expected to finish its work and rule on the final regulations by the end of March 2020.
Cull stated that If ICASA found that there is a failure of competition in the mobile broadband market, it could impose conditions on licensees that are found to be dominant in that market, and this would have a significant impact on how much South Africans pay for mobile data.

South Africans have been calling for mobile data prices to be lowered since 2016 under the social media banner #DataMustFall.

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