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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) will hold virtual public hearings on August 12-13, in respect of the ‘Mobile Broadband Services Regulations’ draft published last March 26.

The draft defines relevant wholesale and retail markets for mobile broadband services and determines whether there is effective competition in those relevant markets. Most importantly, the draft imposes appropriate pro-competitive license conditions on those licensees with significant market power, to remedy the market failure.

ICASA views the current ICT sector as highly concentrated, with market dominance enjoyed by a small number of major providers in various market segments. This dominance and ineffective competition in some of the markets, if not addressed, have the potential to constraint the sector, and continue to contribute towards the high cost of data services.

ICASA’s mandate is centered around the public interest and aims to protect consumers while ensuring the sustainability of those conducting business within the ICT sector. “This is spirit within which we should all be looking at this regulatory intervention i.e. to meet the broadband needs of all South Africans, especially during the time where the paradigm has shifted and the public relies more on broadband, or data services and bandwidth, to go about their communication lives,” says ICASA councilor, Ms. Thembeka Semane.

The public hearings, where all interested stakeholders are invited to take part, provide ICASA with an opportunity to make informed decisions in the final ‘Mobile Broadband Services Regulations.’

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