MTN Group on Tuesday said it would pursue legal options against the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa)’s decision to reduce termination rates for small cellphone operators.

MTN chief executive Zunaid Bulbulia said in a statement: “MTN has exhausted all avenues of engagement with the regulator on this matter and is left with no alternative but to pursue its legal options.”

Vodacom last week also announced plans to challenge Icasa’s decision.

Under the regulator’s plan, carriers such as Cell C and Telkom Mobile will see rates decrease from 40 cents to 20 cents from 1 March.

But big networks like Vodacom and MTN will pay 44 cents per minute during calls to the smaller networks.

Both companies previously warned the Icasa about being overly aggressive in reducing rates.

The regulator plans to continue bringing down fees over the next three years.