South Africans Urged to up 'Data Must Fall' Fight

SOUTH Africans must continue advocating for the reduction in the voice and data rates in view of communication becoming a basic need.

This is according to the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) which nonetheless believes the industry is moving in the right direction.

"Voice and data are now basic services that enable us to apply for jobs and care for our families," said Andre van der Walt, ISPA chairman.

"The cost of these services therefore directly impacts millions of human beings and should, therefore, be as low as practically possible."

ISPA believe South Africa's historically uncompetitive information and communications technology (ICT) landscape has come a long way since there were two cellular networks (MTN and Vodacom), one fixed-line network (Telkom) and consumer frustration with bandwidth limitations and the exorbitant cost of data.

ISPA said consumer-focused regulatory frameworks like the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations were examples of moves in the right direction that are helping to end some of the more "predatory practices" employed by South Africa's mobile networks and others that kept the price of data "artificially high."

"Mobile and fixed-line consumers are today paying less for data than they ever have. However, together South Africans can further drive down the cost of mobile data, in particular, through information sharing," van der Walt stated.

South Africa has four mobile network operators, namely Cell C, MTN, Telkom and Vodacom.

Telkom doubles as both fixed and mobile network.

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