JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – AFRICA’S largest mobile network operator, MTN has expressed disappointment at the recommendation of the Competition Commission to prohibit its proposed transaction with Telkom.
MTN believes that the transaction would have encouraged competition in the market and between the parties, fostered an efficient utilisation of the networks of both parties and would have been to the benefit of the sector and the country by catering to the exponential data growth.
“It is regrettable that the matter is not moving forward to the Competition Tribunal as the final decision making authority, as MTN firmly believes, the transaction would have enabled competition in the market and between the parties and that MTN would have been able to clearly demonstrate this before the Competition Tribunal,” MTN stated.
The mobile network operator said the transaction would have resulted in an efficient utilisation of the networks of both parties and would have been to the benefit of the sector and the country as a whole in terms of the rapidly growing demand for data.
Through the transaction, MTN and would have concluded a network management services agreement and reciprocal roaming agreements.
Under these agreements, MTN would assume the financial and operational responsibility for the rollout and operation of Telkom’s radio access networks. Each company would be able to roam on the other party’s cellphone network.
However, the Competition Commission said this was likely to entrench a duopolistic market structure dominated by Vodacom and MTN, the biggest operators in the country.
In the meantime, MTN continues to explore other ways of efficient network consolidation and sharing arguing this was happening in other parts of the world.
“MTN also has multiple firm network expansion, efficiency, wholesale and sharing strategies in place which are underpinned by an aggressive network rollout of all technology streams including fibre and LTE.
“The proposed Telkom deal was just one element of the larger MTN strategy, which entailed the radio access network and fibre strategies. WE are pursuing other RAN efficiency gains and exploring other network sharing transactions.”
– CAJ News