South Africa: MTN welcomes Competition Tribunal’s approval
MTN has welcomed the Competition Tribunal’s approval of the agreement between the operator and the Competition Commission on several voluntary price adjustments that had been reached at the end of April 2020.
In December 2019 MTN and Vodacom were advised to reduce their mobile data pricing by half.
In April 2020 the Commission and MTN South Africa concluded negotiations and reached agreement over data cost reduction.
According to an ITWeb report, MTN undertook to reduce the price of 30-day prepaid bundles up to 1GB, with the 1GB monthly bundle being reduced to R99.
Other measures included in the agreement were:
• Retail price reductions for prepaid data customers
• Provision of a data lifeline allocation per day through the ayoba app
• Zero-rating of selected public benefit organisations
• Greater customer transparency on individual data pricing and usage
The Commission then referred the deal to the Competition Tribunal for confirmation.
Today’s announcement of approval from the Tribunal marks the final step in the process that had followed the Commission’s Data Service Market Inquiry in December last year.
A statement released by MTN regarding the latest development reads: “MTN welcomes the constructive engagement with the Competition Commission as well as the Competition Tribunal and remains committed to building on these initiatives to ensure more people in all areas across the country can enjoy the benefits of a modern, connected life on South Africa’s best network.”
MTN is scheduled to launch its 5G network on 30 June 2020 in a virtual event to be livestreamed and hosted by CEO Godfrey Motsa, along with Mapula Bodibe, Chief Consumer Officer MTN SA and Giovanni Chiarelli, Chief Technology & Information Officer MTN SA.
ITWeb reports that MTN will become the third mobile carrier to launch 5G following Vodacom’s last month. In September last year, mobile data-only network operator Rain activated South Africa’s first commercial 5G network.
Vodacom switched on its 5G mobile network in three cities - Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town - with further rollouts planned to other parts of the country.