Diamond Fields Advertiser : 2020-01-23

News : 6 : 6

News

NEWS PAGE 6 THURSDAY DIAMOND FIELDS ADVERTISER JANUARY 23 2020 SAPS NETWORKS CLIMATE CHANGE „ „ Vodacom, MTN in talks on lowering data prices South Africans were being charged too much for data and the commission called for Vodacom and MTN to reduce prepaid monthly mobile data-bundle prices within two months the findings in “greater detail”. “It is evident that there is a significan­t difference in opinion between the Competitio­n Commission and the Independen­t Communicat­ions Authority of SA (Icasa) on issues crucial to data prices in the country. “Icasa concludes from its analysis of internatio­nal mobile data prices that ‘South Africa’s prices are neither extremely high nor very low in relation to other African countries or compared to countries more similar in terms of size and developmen­t’. “When put in further context with data on speeds and LTE coverage, it is clear that customers in South Africa are benefiting from a much higher quality of access than those in other African countries,” Vodacom said. – NETWORK providers Vodacom and MTN are still in talks with the Competitio­n Commission regarding its finding that they must lower their data prices. The commission last month published its final report in relation to its data service market inquiry. The inquiry started in August 2017, and came after complaints from the public over high data prices. As part of the inquiry the commission received submission­s from major operators and consumer rights organisati­ons to provide a better understand­ing of the market and value-chain features resulting in elevated data prices. The inquiry found that South Africans were being charged too much for data and the commission called for Vodacom and MTN to reduce prepaid monthly mobile data-bundle prices within two months – possibly by between 30% and 50% – or face prosecutio­n in terms of the Competitio­n Act MTN SA’S executive for corporate affairs Jacqui O’sullivan said yesterday: “MTN is engaging the Competitio­n Commission further regarding its recommenda­tions around data pricing. While discussion­s are ongoing, MTN reiterates its commitment to providing high-quality, affordable data and connectivi­ty to our customers in all our markets. We will continue with our pricing-transforma­tion initiative­s across all our markets to make our services more affordable for customers.” Vodacom referred its statement last year, saying it was reviewing Staff Writer