Our sister organization RIA has been pushing hard for lower termination rates in South Africa. Now in the context of a retail price war, a small operator has joined the call. This nicely refutes the claim that mobile termination rates have nothing to do with retail prices. In a move that will no doubt irk MTN and Vodacom, Knott-Craig says he wants the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to drop the rates even further beyond the 40c/minute they will reach in March 2013. “To Icasa, I say: ‘Drop mobile termination rates even further, provide Cell C with asymmetrical rates to help us achieve the scalability we need to compete even more fiercely with the large incumbents, and we will surprise you and them with our response.
Namibia poses an interesting question. The regulator acts to reduce one of the key costs of providing offnet calls, the mobile termination rate. But the operator holding 85 percent market share refuses to make a corresponding reduction in offnet call charges. Now the regulator has responded by ordering reduction of offnet call charges. Namibia has led SA in cutting call termination rates — the fees the operators charge one another to carry calls between their networks.