The long drawn-out tussle between SA’s two biggest network operators over the provision of mobile voice and data services to Transnet could be far from over. In June, MTN’s court bid to have Transnet’s R325m deal with Vodacom set aside was dismissed by the high court in Johannesburg. But MTN is adamant that Transnet’s awarding of the tender to Vodacom was irregular and unlawful, and the operator has applied for leave to appeal against the judgment. MTN has provided Transnet with mobile voice and data services for years. It has been reluctant to let go of the contract and to port Transnet’s numbers to Vodacom — a process that would be painstaking to reverse if the operator were to win an appeal. As a result, MTN has been dragging its feet for months — Transnet awarded the contract to Vodacom as far back as February. According to a Vodacom spokesperson, who asked not to be named, MTN has ported only about half the number of lines it ought to have, a move that defies the high court rul...

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