THE SECRET SAT3 AGREEMENT – WHAT IT REALLY SAYS

Telecoms

Following the South African Minister’s complaint that Telkom SA has not produced its copy of the SAT3 agreement, we have managed to talk to someone close to the Consortium who has read the agreement.

Apparently in legal terms the document is “very tightly worded” on the control the SAT3 operators have until the end of the national monopolies in April 2007. But after that date, it is not clear what the operators would like to see happen. Some are prepared and willing to take on the competition, whilst others would like to find ways of extending the existing monopoly privileges.

At the heart of the agreement is a statement that says each national Government grants the national operator landing rights for a defined period of time. After this period, it is unclear whether Government is bound into renewing the landing rights or could offer the rights to another party. Inevitably if the rights were passed to another party, there would almost certainly be legal action from individual holders.