Telkom at it again … and again!

Ok, this is becoming a very tired story. It is old news reinvented and I am getting frustratingly tired of telling it and yet it is a story that needs to be told. Once again, ITWeb carries a story about Telkom’s pricing structure:

Telkom has defended its tariffs as US-based NUS Consulting again says its rates are among the highest in the world.

Last week, NUS Consulting released its latest survey, which says Telkom’s high tariffs “continue to hamper South African organisations in their efforts to compete in the world’s major markets??.

According to the study, an international call made from SA to New York costs $0.74 (R4.44) per minute, compared to a New York to London call of $0.7 (R4.20) per minute. The study cites SA and the US as having the highest international call rates among the 14 countries in which most of South African telecommunications transactions take place.

These countries are the UK, US, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

NUS Consulting MD George Rahr says while Telkom should be applauded for its 49% and 10% rate cuts for international and long distance calls, these cuts are insignificant when compared with the reductions in other countries.

If you haven’t dozed off or gone off to add pins to your Telkom voodoo doll, you may have asked why Telkom was so defensive. Well, here is what they had to say:

Telkom media liaison officer Xolasi Vapi says Telkom’s tariffs compare favourably with other Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development countries.

“For a long time Telkom has been using international calls and long distance national calls to subsidise the local call rate. We also have the problem of the cost of managing the local loop,?? he says.

Vapi says Telkom’s 28% price reduction in January for international calls was well received and the company has since seen an increase in the use of its network.

Of course the reason for the increased use of the network is because the prices have dropped on the only network we have! Of course we will use the network more, the prices are, like our petrol prices (R5 per litre next week people!) bound to go up again. The increased use of the network has nothing to do with the value we get for the service.

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