MTN has vowed to oppose the competition authority’s bid to slash data prices, citing gaps in Bonakale’s report. According to a statement from the Telco, MTN halved its data prices in 2016.
Moreover, Reuters reports that the company pledged a $3.4 billion investment to accommodate South Africa’s growing data demand. The company also faces the challenge of limited spectrum, which pushes up data costs.
“We respectfully disagree with the analysis and recommendations contained in the summary report and, as we study the full report, (we) will continue to engage constructively and vigorously defend against over-broad and intrusive recommendations,” read an MTN statement.
On Monday, South Africa’s Competition authority instructed MTN and Vodacom to cut their prices by 30-50% or face prosecution. The report by the authority also requires Telcos to provide free lifeline data packages for all subscribers, within the next 6 months. The recommendations echo cries of other South Africa leaders and the public, arguing that data prices in the country are too expensive compared to prices in similar economies.
In response, Vodacom and MTN argued that the price comparisons across countries not informed. This is because Telcos in South Africa suffer delays in spectrum allocation, which inflate the cost of data.
“The release of new spectrum in this market will greatly assist our ability to service more customers with more data traffic,” said MTN.
Vodacom also accused the competition commission of downplaying the role of spectrum in reducing data prices.