The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has welcomed the ruling by the South Gauteng High Court on the Mobile Termination Regulations.
Speaking to SAnews on Tuesday morning, ICASA spokesperson Paseka Maleka said the regulator would come up with a way forward over the next six months.
This comes after two mobile operators, Vodacom and MTN, approached the courts to try and halt ICASA from implementing the new mobile termination rates – fees that mobile networks charge each other to connect calls – complaining that the regulator’s decision would leave a big hole in their bottom line.
On Monday, the South Gauteng High Court made a ruling to allow for a mobile termination rate of 20 cents and the asymmetric rate of 44 cents to be implemented for the next six months, effective 1 April 2014.
“We welcome the judgement and ICASA respects the rule of law and our licensees [rights] to ask the High Court to review any decision or determination that ICASA has made.
“We are committed to reducing the cost of communicating in South Africa,” Maleka said.
In January, ICASA told journalists that in a bid to regulate the telecommunications environment and to bring the cost of communications down, mobile termination rates would be halved to 20 cents from last month.
ICASA’s plan was, however, put on ice due to the court challenge.
“We will have to go back and look into the regulations as per cost decision and then in the next six months we should be able to come up with