Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has pledged to reduce data costs

On Friday, at the end of her budget speech, Communications Minister, Ayanda Dlodlo pledged to reduce data costs.

During his budget speech on Thursday, Economic Development Minister, Ebrahim Patel also said that the Competition Commission would look into the matter.

Duncan McLeod, Editor at TechCentral says South Africa's data is not the most expensive in the world but also not the cheapest.

I know that they are looking at the data prices in South Africa. I think it was the Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele who asked the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to look into that.

Duncan McLeod, Editor at TechCentral

Read: Data Must Fall! Government puts pressure on mobile networks to drive down costs

He said last week that he expects Icasa to take two or three years to complete that study which seems like an extraordinary amount of time to do a study on such a small segment of the market.

Duncan McLeod, Editor at TechCentral

McLeod adds that Icasa, together with the Competition Commission, signed a memorandum of understanding a few years ago, that they would work together on areas where it made sense to do so.

If there is some sort of involvement by the competition in the investigation, then it would be the Competition Commission who are better resourced to conduct this sort of investigation rather than Icasa, who are known to have funding issuing, he says.

McLeod says Telkom mobile's prices are noticeably lower than their rivals but doesn't have has good network coverage compared to the bigger network providers.

I think where this debate may head down the line, is the issue of 'out of bundle' data rates.

Duncan McLeod, Editor at TechCentral

Listen to the rest of the interview here:


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