MTN SA raises red flags over telecoms amendment bill

MTN has dismissed government’s Electronic Communications Bill, as concerns mount about the potential negative impact it could have on the sector.

The company submitted its response to the Department of Telecommunications & Postal Services over the Bill amid growing pressure for government to withdraw it.

MTN and others argue that the Bill is unconstitutional and will create a new infrastructure monopoly in the form of a proposed wholesale open-access network (Woan), which will ultimately be detrimental to consumers.

702 show host Stephen Grootes spoke to TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod explains that there have been behind the scenes talks for a number of years over this issue.

But I think it's reached the point now where we have got the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill which has been published and I think the view amongst the big operators is that they can't afford to be quiet about this anymore.

Duncan McLeod, TechCentral , Editor

What they are doing, is they are proposing the creation of something called a wholesale open-access network (Woan), which could get access to most if not all future mobile broadband frequency assignments. So government in effect is going to create a monopoly service provider at an infrastructure level and wants to promote what it calls service-based competition.

Duncan McLeod, TechCentral , Editor

MTN has argued that this is like creating a monopoly bread bakery in the hope that competition between supermarkets would drive good quality low prices and wide availability of bread.

Duncan McLeod, TechCentral , Editor

Click on the link below to hear McLeod's thoughts on the bill....


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