UPDATE 1-South Africa telecoms regulator proposes slashing mobile rates
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CAPE TOWN Oct 4 (Reuters) - South Africa's telecoms regulator on Friday proposed a cut of up to 75 percent over the next three years in the fees mobile phone companies can charge rivals to use their network.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) said it planned it cut the mobile termination rate to 10 cents by 2016 from 40 cents now, part of a government push to reduce call costs in Africa's largest economy.
"We expect the final rates to be implemented by March next year," said spokesman Paseka Maleka.
Draft regulations will be published for public comment next week and companies will have 14 days to comment.
The lower fees would likely have an impact on revenue for South Africa's main mobile operators, MTN Group and Vodacom Group, and fixed-line operator Telkom SA .
ICASA three years ago found a lack of competition in providing call termination services had led to inefficient pricing, and imposed new pricing on Vodacom and MTN for mobile termination and Telkom for fixed termination rates.
"The authority finds that the market remains ineffective with extremely high levels of concentration," ICASA said in a statement. (Reporting Wendell Roelf; Editing by David Dolan)