Mobile Interconnect Fees To Be Regulated In South Africa And Zambia
A reduction in the cost of communications is expected in Zambia and South Africa following announcements by national authorities to regulate mobile interconnection fees by mobile operators.
The Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority, the telecom regulators in the two countries have announced they are stepping in to intervene in the high interconnection fees by mobile operators.
The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority is reducing the interconnection fee by June this year, while ICASA said it will implement the new interconnection rates by July this year. The idea is to protect consumers from exploitation by mobile service providers. Interconnection rates are fees mobile operators charge each other for carrying calls to their networks. governments are initiating to regulate fees.
when mobile communication arrived Africa 15 years ago ,mobile services providers left to decide their interconnection rates, but now African government are going regulate the fees.
Zambia and South Africa join Uganda in embracing interconnection rates in order to reduce the high cost of communication. Major telecom operators in South Africa reduced the interconnection fees in March this year, but ICASA said the reductions were not sufficient enough to make communication really cheaper.
The proposal put forward by ICASA states that the fee that is presently set at 0.90 rand per minute should be reduced to 0.65 rand per minute by this July. They further state that it should be reduced to 0.50 rand per minute by next July and even further reduced in 2012.
There is no particular proposal put forward by the ZICTA as yet. However, the ZICTA would be implementing its change in the inter connection fee by this June which is earlier than the ICASA. The inter connection fee is a fee that is given by telecom service providers to each other for carrying any call on their respective networks. The idea behind this new policy is to rescue consumers from being exploited by all telecom service providers.