A report by South Africa’s telecoms regulator has revealed; that the data prices by MTN and Vodacom were expensive and recommended a 20% reduction.
The report further warned the telecoms giants about the possibility of prosecution if they failed to implement its recommendations.
Telecoms commissioner, Tembinkosi Bonakele told the press that the inquiry which launched in August 2017; had shown prices charged by Vodacom and MTN were higher in South Africa than in other African markets in which they were operating.
However, Vodacom and MTN have argued that such comparisons are uninformative; because the cost and quality differences across countries, including spectrum allocations, may account for the differences in pricing.
The commission recommended that Vodacom and MTN must independently reach agreement on “substantial reductions” on tariff levels, especially prepaid monthly bundles.
The mobile operators must also agree with terms to stop strategies that may facilitate greater exploitation of market power and anti-poor pricing.
Other regulatory interventions included a proposal that mobile operators be forced to give prepaid subscribers a “lifeline package” of daily free data, and requirements for Vodacom and MTN to agree on appropriate pricing of roaming deals.