Econex has assisted ICASA (the regulator) as well as telecommunications and broadcasting service providers with expert economic advice. The telecommunications sector has experienced dramatic changes over the past few years, driven by both regulatory and technological considerations, and various mergers and acquisitions.
On the regulatory front, the introduction of the new Electronic Communications Act (ECA) in 2005 has changed the telecommunications landscape dramatically. Econex has been closely involved in these processes. We also have a rich experience in providing regulatory and competition advice in the broadcasting sector.
Examples of our work in the telecommunication sector:
- Advised on competition and related regulatory issues to telecommunication companies, including ISPA, Telkom, Internet Solutions, MTN, Cell C, iTalk Cellular, Dimension Data, Sentech and Nashua Mobile.
- Analysed all levels of the mobile and fixed telecommunication supply chains, looking at market concentrations, market shares and conduct at the MNO (mobile network operator) and fixed line operator levels.
- Conducted research on the role of service providers at the intermediate level, and how prices to the final consumer are influenced by upstream structures.
- Advised MNOs and service providers on the competition aspects of service provider agreements.
- Given expert evidence before the Competition Commission in the merger between MTN and iTalk.
- Assisted some of the larger telecommunications companies with their submissions to ICASA in response to various notices published by the authority.
- Advised Cell C in the regulatory enquiry into mobile termination rates (MTRs) and proposed asymmetric termination rates during the initial MTR process (2010). Prof Theron provided expert testimony before ICASA on the matter
- Gave evidence before the recent ICASA enquiry into the proposed Vodacom/ Neotel merger.
- Advised Telkom on the local loop unbundling (LLU) process, and attended ICASA hearings with the client.
Examples of our work in the broadcasting sector:
- Prepared expert economic reports on the acquisition of 24.9% of Kaya FM by Primedia (from Nail), and provided expert testimony on competition in radio markets before the Competition Tribunal.
- Provided expert testimony before the Copyright Tribunal on the matter of royalties paid by SAMPRA to the NAB.
- Conducted economic analyses for radio stations licence extensions, most recently for Heart FM.
- Completed a socio-economic impact assessment of local content broadcasting regulations in collaboration with Pygma Consulting for ICASA.