More Africa NewsSouth Africa: Cell C drops legal action against number portability rules

February 9, 2021by myles0

South African operator, Cell C has withdrawn its legal challenge to new number portability regulations published by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), MyBroadband reported. There had been industry speculation that the parties had settled the litigation, the portal said, but added that the operator and regulator have declared that there was no settlement and that Cell C dropped the case.

The operator said in 2019 that it had launched an application in the High Court for the review and setting aside of ICASA’s decision to promulgate the Number Portability Regulations 2018. Given Cell C’s business model at the time, the operator was particularly vulnerable to the regulations and in the circumstances, the challenge was reasonable, it said.

While the new regulations would allow the porting of 0800, 087 and other non-geographic numbers, Cell C took issue with another aspect of ICASA’s new rules. At the start of 2020, Cell C argued that ICASA would make it needlessly difficult for mobile subscribers to port their numbers. Under the new regulations, porting would change to become an incumbent network-led process. This meant the customer’s current network must initiate the port. Previously, the receiving network would initiate the port.

Cell C said there were a few factors that contributed to its change of heart, chiefly that it no longer feels as threatened by the regulations.


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