Mobile operators must do more for the poor, says ANC on data cost saga

Governing party welcomes Competition Commission findings that data prices are too high and 'anti-poor'

25 April 2019 - 18:02 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
The ANC says that mobile operators must do more for the poorer consumers. File photo.
The ANC says that mobile operators must do more for the poorer consumers. File photo.
Image: iStock

The ANC has welcomed provisional findings by the Competition Commission which slated mobile phone networks for their high data prices.

The governing party said the findings were in part influenced by its submissions to an inquiry into the costs of data as a "strong campaigner for the #DataMustFall" movement. 

According to the ANC, the time for the relevant state institutions to whip mobile network operators into shape is now.

"The ANC also urges entities such as Icasa to take on board the findings of the Competition Commission and urgently take steps to ensure greater price transparency and price-based competition is enhanced, as recommended in the report," ANC spokesman Pule Mabe said.

"The ANC believes that mobile operators can do more for the poorer consumers in the prepaid service market to give consumers much-needed relief. And we believe time for action is now. 

"The ANC also notes the preliminary finding regarding the need to release spectrum for high demand, and supports this recommendation as it is largely contributing towards lowering the costs of communications, in particular data services, and to enhance completion and encourage the future licensing of new operators such as the Wireless Open Access Network.

"The ANC is committed to struggle for the emancipation of the poor and the marginalised, and will engage in continuous campaigns for #DataMustFall until the recommendations of this report ... are speedily implemented."