South African mobile operator Cell C is reportedly planning to take larger rival MTN South Africa to court, after MTN initiated legal proceedings against the regulator ICASA earlier this month to suspend the implementation of new call termination regulations, local news outlet My Broadband reports. According to the article, Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos said: ‘Cell C is consulting its legal team and will oppose MTN’s application in the strongest terms. This regulation is in the interest of the consumers, the telecommunications industry and the broader South African economy’. The executive also added that MTN’s application to set aside the regulations is nothing more than an attempt to stifle competition in the industry and entrench the existing duopoly.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in January 2014 ICASA announced higher asymmetry in MTRs, effective 1 March 2014. The new rules favour smaller network operators Cell C and Telkom Mobile. However, in February ICASA’s representative Nomvuyiso Batyi confirmed that MTN South Africa had sent a letter to the watchdog demanding the ‘immediate removal of recently published regulations’. Subsequently, the regulator decided to delay the implementation of new wholesale MTRs until 1 May, as the legal proceedings introduced by MTN are ‘complex’ and parties affected by the litigation are ‘afforded very little time to respond.’