[15 January 2014] The workshop will be held at ICASA on Friday 24 January 2014.
[12 January 2014] In a letter to interested parties ICASA noted that it had received a number of Interconnection Agreements from licensees which sought to introduce a termination rate for “Commercial Short Messages” and that this is a significant change from the Sender Keeps All (SKA) pricing principle adopted by the mobile network operators under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

While accepting the need for flexibility in the face of innovation, ICASA expressed its concern regarding the impact of the proposed termination rate on the SMS value chain – “[T]his includes the impact such a change in the pricing principle may have on the provision of services which currently exist, the future sustainability of those companies currently providing SMS services as well as the potential implications for employment security if such a change in the pricing principle were to take place”.

As a result of these concerns ICASA will not approve any of the agreements filed with it until it has held an industry workshop on the potential impact of an introduction of a termination rate.

ICASA would particularly like to gather views on:
• Which services require or rely on SMS?
• What is the cost for conveying an SMS to the end-user?
• Is there a difference between termination to a fixed vs a mobile location?

ICASA’s intention is to hold the workshop in the week commencing 20 January 2014.