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Telekom rivals within 12 months

South Africa's landline monopoly operator Telekom will face competition in the market by next May - much earlier than originally expected.

South Africa's Telkom operator will lose its landline monopoly as early as next May.

Final telecom policy directives, due for release at the start of this month, are expected to "call for both a second and third national operator to enter the market in May," according to a report in the Business Day newspaper.

If the directive is approved by communications minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, it will represent a sharp departure from the original plan to introduce only one rival initially with a second competitor five years later.

Business Day said that the changes were the result of intense lobbying from international and local businesses and could hit the value of Telkom which is preparing for a float in November - but only if the market conditions are right.

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