VoIP deregulation in South Africa: Implications for underserviced areas.

Chetty, Marshini and Blake, Edwin and McPhie, Ewan (2006) VoIP deregulation in South Africa: Implications for underserviced areas., Telecommunications Policy, 30, 332-344.

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Several statutory restrictions have recently been lifted on the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in South Africa. Previously, VoIP could only be utilised by the incumbent telecommunications operator, Telkom, the Second National Operator (SNO) and Under Serviced Area Licensees (USALs). This means new opportunities and cost savings for both network service providers and consumers. However, in rural and remote regions, further liberalisation is required so that service providers can take advantage of wireless technologies to provide connectivity in these areas. This paper discusses the legislative environment in South Africa and around the world with respect to VoIP and Wireless Fidelity (WiFi). In addition, examples are provided of how these technologies have been combined to provide last mile solutions around the world and particularly in South Africa. The paper concludes that further liberalisation in the telecommunications environment in South Africa is required if the goal of providing affordable access in rural areas is to be attained. Specifically, it is recommended that wireless technologies be deregulated since the combination of VoIP and WiFi may benefit rural areas. Also, the paper finds that USALs may not be the right model for underserviced areas in South Africa. Lastly, it is apparent that applications drive development and dictate which technologies are relevant for rural areas.

Item Type: Journal article (paginated)
Uncontrolled Keywords: VoIP, WiFi, South Africa
Subjects: Social and professional topics
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 15:35
URI: http://pubs.cs.uct.ac.za/id/eprint/381

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