Icasa to introduce new call rates by April
New call termination regulations (CTRs) will come into effect on April 1, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) said on Thursday.
Icasa will introduce the 2014 CTRs from April 1 instead of May 1, as previously planned, spokesperson Paseka Maleka said in a statement.
CTRs regulate the charges imposed by cellular network operators on each other for calls between their networks. "After further consideration and consultation with legal counsel, Icasa's counsel has decided the commencement of the 2014 regulations need only be delayed by one month."
The 2010 CTRs would, therefore, be extended by one month.
Last week, Icasa was served with an urgent court application by telecommunications company MTN over its decision to cut call termination rates by up to 50%.
The application was made to the high court in Johannesburg for an interim order suspending the bulk of the provisions of the CTRs, pending the outcome of final review proceedings in which MTN sought to review and have the provisions set aside.
At the time, Icasa said the application was complex, comprised about 399 pages, and the affected parties were afforded very little time for answering affidavits. These needed to be filed by Tuesday this week.
The urgent application was scheduled to be heard on Tuesday next week.
Maleka said on Thursday: "After studying the papers, the council of Icasa is also of the view that a delay of one month is sufficient to ensure that the affected parties have sufficient time to properly prepare their answering papers".
It was in the public interest that MTN's application for interim relief be resolved as soon as possible, Maleka said.