The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) is planning to file a complaint against Cell C with the Competition Commission for allegedly providing preferential services and prices to a single SMS provider.
Many WASPs feel aggrieved that Cell C is apparently providing Blue Label Telecoms owned Cellfind better prices and wholesale SMS services.
One WASPA member told MyBroadband that this alleged ‘special deal’ with Blue Label Telecoms may stem from Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig’s close relationship with the company.
According to a Blue Label Telecoms article, former Vodacom CEO Alan Knott-Craig – now head of Cell C – played a key role in Blue Label’s early successes.
And following unhappiness about Cell C’s SMS arrangement with Cellfind, WASPA’s management has agreed to lodge a complaint against Cell C. This was done at the organisation’s AGM on 14 March 2013.
Cell C was asked about feedback regarding the issue, but the company did not respond by the time of publication.
However, in a letter to WASPA, Cell C denied that it acted anti-competitively.
Cell C explained that it was conducting a ‘technical trial’ with one of its WASPs which has been successfully concluded.
Cell C explained that it could not provide similar services to other WASPs during this trial phase, because it posed a risk to its network and its business.
Cell C said it is planning to implement a new commercial model for WASPs, which will be applied in a uniform manner.
The mobile firm added that it has been meeting with WASPs about new commercial arrangements, and said it was disappointed that none of the WASPs raised this issue at the AGM.
“Cell C does not consider there to be any merit in the allegations of anti-competitive activity on its part and will vehemently resist any action that WASPA will bring in this regard,” the operator said.