Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Telkom SA wants Vodacom, Rain spectrum deal scrutinized

Article Image
Telkom SA has approached South Africa's Competition Tribunal to get it to look into the spectrum deals between fellow local operators Vodacom and Rain.

Telkom believes the spectrum arrangements between the two should be considered a merger that must be scrutinized according to the terms of the Competition Act.

Telkom's Group executive for Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations, Dr. Siyabonga Mahlangu, says Vodacom's ability to control Rain's spectrum entrenches its position as a dominant player in a highly concentrated market.

"It is important that the effects of spectrum arrangements on competition are scrutinised," Mahlangu said in a statement sent to Connecting Africa.

"Particularly, in light of the upcoming spectrum auction which will set the ground for the nature of competition in the mobile market for the foreseeable future," he added.

Rain spokesperson Khaya Dlanga told Connecting Africa that the company "currently provides non-exclusive roaming services to Vodacom and this arrangement has previously been scrutinized and approved by the Competition Commission and ICASA [The Independent Communications Authority of SA]".

"[Rain] also competes fiercely in the retail 4G and 5G data markets in South Africa with innovative and affordable unlimited products," he said but could give no further comment on Telkom's complaint saying the company needed to study it in detail.

Cell C and MTN previously lodged a complaint with the Competition Commission over Rain's agreements with Vodacom but TechCentral reported in 2018 that the Competition Commission had investigated and cleared the companies.

In Vodacom's annual results for the year ended March 31, 2020 the telco said it had recently renegotiated and extended its roaming agreement with Rain "which improves the cost of our capacity taken up from Rain."

Telkom argues that the deal should be viewed as a merger because "the multiple agreements between Vodacom and Rain grant Vodacom use and control over the deployment of Rain's spectrum, including the planning, rollout, maintenance and service of its radio access network".

"Telkom is asking the Competition Tribunal to find that the arrangements constitute a notifiable merger and should be subjected to scrutiny by the competition authorities."

Connecting Africa approached Vodacom for comment but had received no response at the time of publication.

*Top image is courtesy of Rain.

Related posts:

Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Hot startup of the month: South Africa's Botlhale AI

Connecting Africa's hot startup this month is South Africa's Botlhale AI, which creates conversational AI tools for African languages while helping businesses engage customers in languages they understand and trust.


SA's Teraco to power data centers with 120MW solar plant

Teraco, the vendor-neutral data center provider, is planning the construction of a 120 megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) energy facility in the Free State province of South Africa.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Africa Tech Perspectives


Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.


The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: January 2024

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in January 2024 in the Middle East and Africa included a $200 million fintech deal between MTN and Mastercard as well as 5G network trials by Telecom Egypt – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: September 2023

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in September 2023 in the Middle East and Africa included more 5G spectrum licenses, vendor and operator strategies, and partnerships – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up
Tag id test-002