ICASA’s “invalid and unlawful” MTR cuts can proceed

ICASA’s “invalid and unlawful” MTR cuts can proceed

Cuts to mobile termination rates (MTRs) as well as asymmetric pricing for South African operators proposed by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) are “invalid and unlawful”, but may be implemented nonetheless, a court has ruled, dismissing applications by leading operators MTN and Vodacom.

HumanIPO reported earlier this month MTN and Vodacom launched legal challenges against ICASA following the publication of new MTR regulations providing for 50 per cent cuts to MTRs as of April 1, as well as asymmetric pricing to the detriment of the larger operators.

The operators contend the regulator has not followed procedures required by statute in deciding the new rates, and asked the court to delay implementation pending legal review.

A High Court in Johannesburg today ruled the cut proposed by ICASA – from ZAR0.40 to ZAR0.20 per call terminated – is “invalid and unlawful”, but will be implemented nonetheless for six months, pending a review of the reduction by ICASA.

The asymmetric rate of ZAR0.44 to be paid by MTN and Vodacom for terminating calls to smaller networks will also become effective tomorrow.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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