[30 March 2021] ICASA has published its Findings Document and Draft Mobile Broadband Services Regulations for comment.
Draft Mobile Broadband Services Regulations 2021
Findings Document on Mobile Broadband Services Inquiry
ICASA is to be commended for completing this process within the indicated timeframes.
Interested persons can submit written submissions to the Authority within thirty (30) working days from the date of the publication of the Draft Regulations (deadline for submission is 12 May 2021) via email to MarketInquiry2018@icasa.org.za.
[11 January 2021] Transcripts of the public hearings on the Mobile Broadband Services Market Inquiry can be seen below:
Mobile Broadband Service Inquiry Hearing (26 October 2020)
Mobile Broadband Service Inquiry Hearing (27 October 2020)
[2 November 2020] Presentations made at the public hearings on the discussion document can be seen below:
Presentation – Mobile Broadband Services Market Inquiry: Cell C
Presentation – Mobile Broadband Services Market Inquiry: Competition Commission
Presentation – Mobile Broadband Services Market Inquiry: ISPA
Presentation – Mobile Broadband Services Market Inquiry: MTN
Presentation – Mobile Broadband Services Market Inquiry: Telkom
Presentation – Mobile Broadband Services Market Inquiry: Vodacom
[21 October 2020] ICASA will hold public hearings on its Discussion Document on the Market Inquiry into Mobile Broadband Services on 26 and 27 October 2020. The hearings will be held at Radisson Blu Gautrain, Sandton with remote participation available on the Microsoft Teams platform.
ICASA to hear submissions with respect to the mobile broadband market inquiry
[3 April 2020] Submissions received in respect of the Mobile Broadband Services Market Inquiry can be seen below:
[8 January 2020] The date for comments on the Discussion Document on Mobile Broadband Services Inquiry has been extended to 27 February 2020 (previously 6 February 2020).
Revised Timelines for Submission of Written Representations with Regard to the Discussion Document on Mobile Broadband Services Inquiry
[29 November 2019] ICASA has published a discussion document on Mobile Broadband Services Inquiry, setting out ICASA’s preliminary views on the definition of relevant mobile broadband services markets and the effectiveness of competition within these markets.
Discussion Document on the Market Inquiry into Mobile Broadband Services
ICASA publishes a Discussion Document on Mobile Broadband Services Inquiry for public comments (media release)
Comments are due by 6 February 2020. These can be sent to MarketInquiry2018@icasa.org.za.
ICASA identified five markets for investigation and set out their conclusions as follows:
- Retail product market for mobile services: this covers voice, data and SMS services provided to retail customers within a local or metropolitan municipal area. ICASA found that Vodacom was dominant in 110 municipalities, MTN in 78 and that no operator was dominant in 41 municipalities and that there were significant barriers to entry into these markets at services and facilities level because of a lack of competitive wholesale services and a concentrated market for site access. ICASA also noted that only two operators offer a full coverage roaming service and only one offers mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services. Competitive failures in this market are to be addressed through interventions in the site access and roaming markets (see below).
- Spectrum (Upstream market #1): ICASA found that no licensees have substantially greater holdings than any other licensee and no licensee has SMP.
- Site access (Upstream market #2): in the market for site access at a local/metropolitan municipal level, ICASA found that competition was highly ineffective with high levels of concentration in 226 out of 234 municipalities. The proposed remedy to address this failure is the redrafting of the existing regulations on the leasing of electronic communications facilities, together with more detailed guidelines on their implementation. The latter would include mandatory information publication and a prohibition on indefinite reservations of space. ICASA is also considering enforcing an accounting separation regime to allow it to enforce transparency and non-discrimination obligations.
- Roaming (Upstream market #3): in the market for roaming at a local/metropolitan municipal level ICASA found ineffective competition in that only Vodacom and MTN are present in many municipalities. Pro-competitive measures under consideration include mandatory roaming offers for areas in which a licensee is dominant and accounting separation.
- MVNO / wholesale APN services (Upstream market #4): ICASA’s view is that issues with competition in this market will be addressed in upstream markets #2 and #3 (site access and roaming) but still finds that there is ineffective competition as only one network offers MVNO services and APN prices are high relative to retail prices. ICASA will continue to monitor the success of measures in other markets in promoting competition in this market and intervene in future if necessary.
ICASA indicated that it would continue to engage with the Competition Commission to ensure alignment between this process and the Data Service Market Inquiry undertaken by the Commission. The final outcomes of that Inquiry are to be published on 2 December 2019.
[14 March 2019] ICASA has granted an extension for the submission of written representations on the Notice, questionnaire and/or requests for information to 29 March 2019 (previously 11 March 2019).
Revised timelines for submission of information in regard to mobile broadband services inquiry
[09 January 2019] ICASA has released an updated response to questions of clarity raised by licensees regarding the market inquiry into mobile broadband services, as can be found at the link below:
Updated responses to questions of clarity raised by licensees (8 January 2019)
[27 December 2018] Answers to questions of clarity on the Notice launching this process were published by ICASA on 21 December 2018.
Responses to clarity questions Mobile Broadband Services Market Inquiry
[16 November 2018] ICASA has given notice of its intention to investigate levels of competition in the mobile data services value chain and to assess whether any regulatory interventions are required in order to stimulate competition.
ICASA Media Release
Notice of Intention to Conduct Market Inquiry into Mobile Broadband Services
Mobile Broadband Inquiry Questionnaire
Mobile Broadband Inquiry: Annexure A
This will be a similar process to the inquiry which led to regulation of voice call termination rates. It follows on from the conclusion of ICASA’s market prioritisation process.
Phases and timelines
The process is to unfold as set out in the table below, with the intention to bring it to a conclusion by 31 March 2020.
Note that ICASA may introduce additional phases or steps, where necessary, to ensure clear communication with stakeholders and may conduct industry workshops or public briefing sessions in relation to matters of process.
*to be confirmed
What will the outcome be?
The Final Regulations referred to in the table would potentially cover:
- Definitions of the relevant wholesale and retail markets in the mobile broadband services value chain;
- A determination as to whether there is effective competition in these markets;
- Where competition is determined to be ineffective in a market, a determination as to whether any licensees have significant market power (SMP) in that market;
- Pro-competitive obligations to be imposed on licensees with SMP designed to remedy the identified market failure;
- A schedule for the review of the defined markets; and
- Mechanisms for monitoring and investigation anti-competitive behaviour in these markets.
If any of the material you want to submit is confidential then there is a process to apply for confidentiality.
Any queries or written submissions must be sent to:
Chairperson: Market Inquiry Council Committee
Councillor Botlenyana Mokhele
Block C 350 Witch-Hazel Avenue, Eco Point Office Park, Eco Park, Centurion
Tel: 012 568 3125 Fax: 012 568 3126