South Africa (country regulation overview)

Date: October 23, 2010
Pages: 17
US$ 895.00
Publisher: Ovum
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)

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South Africa (country regulation overview)
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The South African telecoms market is one of the most technologically advanced markets in Africa. However, it is still dominated by two players: in the fixed-line market the incumbent, Telkom South Africa (Telkom), continues to be the dominant player, while Vodacom controls the majority of market share in the mobile market.

Although the regulator, The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), has conducted consultations on several market issues, it has been relatively slow in finalizing and implementing regulations. As a result, despite the presence of several alternative providers, there is limited competition in the market.

However, ICASA took a more proactive approach in 2009–10, finalizing several retail and wholesale regulations to encourage competition. It is also in the process of reducing mobile termination rates, which is likely to lead to a decline in retail tariffs across operators, making mobile services more affordable to end users.

ICASA's finalization of the licensing procedure for spectrum in the 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz frequency bands was also a positive step in this direction. However, ICASA had to suspend the auction process due to opposition from both the Minister of Communications and industry stakeholders. Although the actual auction process has been suspended for now, delaying the launch of LTE and expansion of WiMAX services, we expect that ICASA will bring the consultation process on track to meet its new deadline of auctioning spectrum by the end of fiscal 2010.
Ovum view
Fixed market overview
Internet market
Multi-play: dual, triple, and quad players
Mobile market overview
National regulatory authority
Role of the country’s competition authority
Key legislation and regulation
Principal act
Other acts
Current status of market analysis
Mobile licensing
3G licenses
Wireless broadband access
Retail regulation
The retail market
Number portability
Quality of service
Wholesale fixed regulation
Services subject to regulation
Narrowband voice interconnection
Cost model for RIO
Fixed termination rates
Narrowband flat-rate interconnection
Flat-rate Internet access call origination
Wholesale access
Wholesale broadband access
Local loop unbundling
Wholesale line rental
Transition to all-IP networks
Wholesale broadband services
Interconnection at international cable landing points
Leasing of dark fiber
Wholesale mobile regulation
Services subject to regulation
National roaming
Mobile termination charges
Mobile number portability
Competition cases
Current cases
Universal service
Universal service obligation

Table 1: South Africa: mobile market information (2Q10)
Table 2: Fixed sector: services subject to regulation
Table 3: Proposed glidepath of fixed termination rates (2010–12)
Table 4: Mobile sector: services subject to regulation in South Africa
Table 5: Proposed glidepath of mobile termination rates (2010–12)


Figure 1: Telkom South Africa’s fixed lines, 2006–10
Figure 2: Mobile subscribers in South Africa: 1H08–1H10

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