Mobile operator Cell C has succeeded in its court bid to postpone the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (Icasa’s) stipulated deadline for the implementation of the end-user and subscriber services charter regulations.
The High Court on Thursday granted the urgent interdict to temporarily suspend the June 8 deadline – an effective one-month period since the gazette of the regulations.
“Cell C has reluctantly applied for an urgent interdict at the High Court in a bid to procure a reasonable timeline for implementation of the regulations,” the company said in a statement, pointing out that Cell C and its vendors were technically not able to meet the deadline set by Icasa.
The full implementation of the necessary, complex changes across the entire product suite, intensive development and numerous system changes, along with the rigorous testing required before Cell C can offer this to its customers, is likely to take at least six months, the telecoms company said.
“Cell C’s billing and other technical platforms are highly complex and rely on one another to operate effectively which means that a change in one system often results in changes being required in other systems,” it added.
Icasa said it had refused the requested extensions in the interest of the public, with consumers unable to carry over their unused data and continuing to be charged high out-of-bundle rates without their consent.
The authority, however, plans to defend the application by Cell C and, to this end, has resolved to postpone the effective date until the matter has been heard and pronounced upon by the court.
However, during this intervening period licensees will not be penalised for noncompliance.