Icasa postpones call rate reductions

New reduced call rates will only kick in on May 1 2014. (Reuters)

New reduced call rates will only kick in on May 1 2014. (Reuters)

Icasa has postponed plans to cut call rates by up to 50% due to an interim order obtained by MTN and Vodacom which suspends the planned reductions.

Communications regulator Icasa has delayed the starting date of cutting call termination rates to May, it said on Friday.

"The Amendment Regulations will be published to (i) delay the commencement of the 2014 Regulations from 1 March 2014 to 1 May 2014, and (ii) extend the operation of the Call Termination Regulations, 2010/11," said Icasa spokesman Paseka Maleka.

The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) was served with an urgent court application by telecommunication company MTN over its decision to cut call termination rates by up to 50 percent, on Wednesday.

The application was made to the High Court in Johannesburg for an interim order suspending the bulk of the provisions of the Call Termination Regulations, pending the outcome of final review proceedings in which MTN sought to review and have the provisions set aside, Maleka said.

He said the application was complex, comprised about 399 pages, and that affected parties were afforded very little time for answering affidavits which needed to be filed by February 18.

He said the urgent application was enrolled for hearing on February 25.

"As such, it is important that the High Court is fully informed of all the relevant issues before making its decision and it is therefore necessary that the affected parties have sufficient time to properly prepare their answering papers, particularly given the complexity of the matter," Maleka said. –Sapa

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