Consolidation puts SA’s telco competition at risk

AN industry executive has warned that anti-competitive consolidation in the local information and communications technology (ICT) sector is a major threat to business and consumers.

They risk being stripped of the freedom to choose their telecoms provider.

This is reminiscent of the days of the Telkom monopoly. However, legislative and regulatory victories saw South Africa emerge in the 2000s as a bastion of free ICT competition.

Rad Jankovic, co-Chief Executive Officer of ICTGlobe, sounded a warning that South Africa’s smaller voice and data operators are being devoured by large players at an alarming rate.

“Lacklustre economic growth, telecoms market maturity and pressure on margins has seen dozens of ICT SMEs folding or being rolled into bigger operators,” he stated.

“That’s tremendously bad for both business and end consumers who remain under pressure and need greater, not less, competition to deliver affordable voice and data services,” Jankovic said.

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