Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub believes there are other issues regarding telkoms complaint in the competition court over the legality of his company`s roaming agreements with its Rain mobile data network. The agreement uses Rain`s frequency bands with 1,800 MHz and 2,600 MHz to improve the capacity and performance of the Vodacom network. Vodacom has entered into a contract with Rain to renew its facilities leases and roaming contracts in addition to the initial agreement of 5,000 sites on virtually all Vodacom sites. This agreement will allow Vodacom to increase access to 4G capabilities on more advantageous terms. Rain has a lease that allows it to use some of the Vodacom network towers for its services. At the same time, Vodacom has a roaming agreement allowing it to use Rain`s 4G spectrum or radio frequencies that transfer data and information. “We made no secret of the fact that because we are limited to capex and the capacity of the rain, we bought them capacity through a roaming agreement,” Joosub said. Last year, Business Insider reported that Vodacom had spent more than R 2 billion R 2 billion in capital on a controversial roaming deal with Rain. In response to Telkom`s allegations, Joosub stated that Vodacom`s partnership with Rain was no different from the company`s roaming agreement with Telkom. In 2018, Telkom, partly state-owned, terminated its roaming contract with MTN and signed a new partnership with Vodacom, the country`s largest mobile operator. That`s what drove them to close deals with smaller rivals like Rain. Telkom also has a roaming agreement with Vodacom, under which the partially privatized company uses Vodacom towers in certain areas.
Vodacom recently renewed and renegotiated its roaming agreement, which improved the cost of capacity purchased by Rain. Roaming agreements allow small operators to offer services to their subscribers in areas where they do not have their own network infrastructure and thus compete with large operators.