South Africa: Vodacom-Rain roaming deal under investigation
6 October 2017
A roaming deal between South African mobile operator Vodacom and 4G LTE operator Rain (previously Multisource/WBS Group) is reportedly under investigation, MyBroadband writes. The move follows complaints from rival operators Cell C and MTN to the Independent Communications Authority South Africa (ICASA) and the Competition Commission (CompCom) that the deal gives Vodacom ‘unlawful’ access to Rain’s 1,800MHz and 2,600MHz spectrum, even in areas where Vodacom has good coverage. Under the current set up, Vodacom users are not notified that they are roaming over Rain’s infrastructure. Vodacom explained that the reason why Rain’s network appears as Vodafone’s to users is because the same public land mobile network code (PLMN ID) is broadcast for Vodacom and Rain’s spectrum. Further, Vodacom also added that there was no requirement to see the roaming icon while on the Rain network, as there was no roaming tariff applied for using Rain’s infrastructure.
Rain CEO Duncan Simpson-Craib also dismissed the concerns, saying the two sides went through a thorough legal process to ensure they were 100% compliant with regulations. The executive added that Rain would welcome other operators to roam over its network, with hopes to reach similar agreements in the near future.