MTN has obliquely shifted the blame for dropped calls and delayed SMSs on to Telkom, saying recent issues such as the Idols voting debacle are "as a result of factors external to the MTN network and that some elements of network quality remain beyond MTN's control despite efforts to mitigate the risks".
In its presentation to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), MTN added that "self-provisioning is expected to mitigate some of these issues".
The cellular network provider says it provided Icasa with statistics regarding dropped calls that show MTN's average is 1%, compared to an international benchmark of 2%.
Telkom, meanwhile, has hit back at the hints of its culpability, stating that there have been no extraordinary circumstances or network problems that could have caused dropped cell calls or SMSs in recent weeks.
It points out that messaging delays and dropped calls are a result of poor switching and transmission capacity in the cellular providers' networks, and challenges MTN to prove its allegations.
MTN also set out a proposal for Icasa to help the regulator monitor key network parameters, the customer base and network performance.
It proposes that the licensed providers in the South Africa telecommunications industry regularly publish information of their non-financial key performance parameters.
MTN, Vodacom, Cell C, Telkom and Neotel would submit this information to a committee, chaired by Icasa, which would determine the information to be published and how this is defined and measured.