Cellphone companies, Icasa agree on more transparency

Mobile communications firm MTN said on Thursday that the council of the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (Icasa) had accepted its proposal of greater transparency among the country’s mobile network providers.

It follows a meeting yesterday between cellphone companies and Icasa to discuss consumer complaints about technical problems.

Speaking at an MTN South Africa media briefing, managing director Tim Lowry said he had received a text message from Icasa accepting a proposal the group had put forward yesterday.

“We proposed a need for greater transparency to determine what information is shared to our customers, and from what I understand, Cell C and Vodacom have also agreed to our suggestions,” Lowry said.

MTN also gave feedback on the Idols issue and informed Icasa that MTN’s network did not contribute to any delays in the receipt of Idols voting SMS messages.

“MTN delivered 1,444 million Idols messages from 20 February to May 3. Of these 326 331 messages were delivered on Sunday May 3. The average submission time from the subscriber to the MTN network is under five seconds,” the group said.

“Network performance is vital. If we can give our customers the proper statistics we will restore confidence in the South African public,” he said.

Lowry also stressed the importance of sharing key network parameters, along with customer base. “Showing what the market share is to our customers is important.

“By doing this we can avoid calls and complaints by the public to radio stations and newspapers about the millions of SMSs that are lost every day. That simply isn’t true,” he said.

“Transparency will show who the better provider is. Statistics can be put together side by side and people can judge for themselves who the better provider is,” Lowry said. — I-Net Bridge

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