Cellphone service providers trap South African users into paying for data at prices that are among the world’s steepest. Picture: DAILY DISPATCH
Cellphone service providers trap South African users into paying for data at prices that are among the world’s steepest. Picture: DAILY DISPATCH

The Competition Commission says it intends to release its provisional report for the data services market inquiry by end-April.

Despite various government interventions in recent years, the cost of communicating remains high in SA.

The Competition Commission initiated a market inquiry into data services in South Africa in 2017 saying it had reasons to believe features in the sector prevented, distorted and restricted competition.

“The market inquiry seeks to understand features in the market and the value chain that may cause or lead to high prices for data services. It also seeks to make recommendations that would result in lower prices for data services,” the commission said at the time.

In a statement on Monday, the commission said the inquiry was initially scheduled to be completed by March 31.

“However, having regard to the comments, submissions and information gathered by the inquiry to date, the commission has decided to further amend the completion date.

“This is to allow for further analysis of extensive evidence gathered by the inquiry, further consultations with key stakeholders, and to finalise a report of its investigation.  

“In terms of the latest amendment, the inquiry will be completed by December 31 2019. The scope of the inquiry remains unchanged,” the commission said.

phakathib@businesslive.co.za