Telkom yet to grasp LLU benefits – CellC
CellC has taken on Telkom as the debate on Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) heats up – saying unbundling would bring job opportunities for young innovators in the country.
Speaking during the public hearings on LLU held by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) earlier today - the mobile operator disputed the position by Telkom that unbundling the local loop would lead to job losses in the industry.
“We see unbundling as having the potential to unlock value to the greater benefit of the economy. We need to encourage Telkom to see that LLU will fast track broadband provision in the country…We cannot be held back by fearing things we are not sure of. This process will bring a lot of innovation to the industry,” says executive head of regulatory affairs at CellC, Mothibi Ramusi.
Ramusi added that in order for the true benefits of LLU to be realised – all forms of LLU should be granted, including bitstream, line sharing and full local loop. He added that the shift by operators away from the focus on broadband in the context of urban areas – would also benefit the process.
LLU is the regulatory process of allowing multiple telecommunications operators to lease the Local Loop, which is that portion of a network which connects the subscriber to the balance of an ECNS licensee’s Electronic Communications Network.
According to ICASA, the successful implementation of LLU has the potential to achieve increased broadband penetration; reduced consumer prices and increased quantity and quality of services; while maximising benefits in terms of choice and quality.
Ramusi added that there were successful examples of LLU which SA could draw from.
“We need to recognise that other countries have successfully done what SA is trying to implement,” says Ramusi.
He adds that there needs to be different processes for fixed line and mobile unbundling – noting that regulations for mobile unbundling were yet to be drawn up.
“Unbundling of the local loop refers to fixed line and any deviations from the gazetted documents need to be done in a controlled manner. We need ICASA to stick to fixed line unbundling – if we need to talk about mobile unbundling, let’s bring an addendum to deal with that,” says Ramusi. .