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South Africans pay world's third highest for fixed-line calls

27 June 2007 News

Telkom is placed third globally when it comes to landline costs, according to an analysis by US-based cost management firm NUS Consulting Group, and this after a 10% reduction introduced last year. The analysis also stated that "Telkom's charges continue to disadvantage South African organisations in their efforts to compete in the world's major markets". This would appear to be a reflection of Telkom's apparent policy of apathy towards South African businesses who are trying to become players in the global market and the South African economy.

Telkom is currently being probed by the competition commission for what would appear to be unfair business practices by charging differing rates for residential and business clients.

The launch delays, followed by over-exaggerated hype introducing the new second national operator, Neotel, has done very little to dent Telkom's dominance in the South African telecommunications market. The status quo has remained.

"Telkom's dominance is really no surprise; many companies in South Africa suffer financially because of, what would appear to be, Telkom's apathy and arrogance displayed towards its customers, at least that is the perception. Telkom has no competition. Many more people in this country have cellphones than landlines and a major factor is the excessive cost to the consumer," says Andrew Davies, MD of Skaap, a South African company offering services similar to Skype telephony.

Davies continues: "It is far more expensive for someone to call South Africa from overseas than it is for calls from South Africa overseas. Companies like Skaap are offering reduced rates overseas from cellphones at a fraction of the cost that Telkom charges, this in spite of a number of commercial challenges relating to the use of Telkom's infrastructure for bandwidth and access numbers. Surely if Skaap can do it, Telkom can."

Being third in the world is no commendation to Telkom, especially when South Africa is struggling for First World recognition.

For more information contact Skaap, +27 (0)21 761 2198, support@skaap.com, www.skaap.com





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