Neotel Cuts Call Prices

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Neotel cuts call prices

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Angus Hay

Neotel is taking advantage of the 1 March cut in mobile termination rates to reduce the cost of calls to mobile phones.

It’s the first operator to announce cuts on the back of the lowering of the rates that mobile providers charge each other and other companies to carry calls onto their networks.

The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) is forcing down termination rates on a glide path between now and 2013 in an attempt to foster greater competition in the market and ultimately drive down retail prices charged to consumers.

Neotel’s rate to cellphones has been cut to less than R1/minute for most calls, it says. Calls to MTN and Vodacom phones will now cost 95c/minute during peak hours and 85c/minute in off-peak times.

Calls to Cell C and 8ta cost R1,20 at peak and 96c at off-peak.

Neotel chief technology officer Angus Hay says MTN and Vodacom have reduced their termination rates, whereas Cell C and 8ta have not. This is in line with new rules published by Icasa that give the two smaller operators preferential rates.

Calls to MTN and Vodacom from Neotel lines previously cost R1,20 and 96c in peak and off-peak times respectively.

Neotel has elected to keep the cost of calls to Telkom the same, despite a small reduction in fixed-line termination rates on 1 March. The company emphasises that the cost of calls from its network to Telkom are cheaper than Telkom on-net calls.

Hay says nearly 9m consumers in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg and Port Elizabeth are now inside Neotel’s coverage area.  — Staff reporter, TechCentral

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