New data rules coming in February 2019

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), MTN and Cell C have reached an agreement on the implementation of the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations.

Originally scheduled to come into effect from June 2018, Icasa has confirmed that the regulations will now be implemented from 28 February 2019.

The new regulations mean that South Africa’s mobile operators may now no longer automatically start billing subscribers out-of-bundle tariffs when their data bundles are depleted.

Instead, they must present subscribers with the option to buy a new bundle, or agree to out-of-bundle billing – alongside usage depletion notifications (SMSes) as customers consume their data bundles.

Icasa also proposed that users’ mobile data must roll over if they do not deplete their bundles, and that consumers can transfer data to other subscribers on the same network.

Cell C, MTN, Telkom, and Vodacom requested an extension for the implementation deadline of the new rules, as they said they needed more time to make the necessary technical changes.

However, Icasa declined to grant the extension, stating it was not in the public’s interest to do so.

Read: Cell C launches new ‘spend control’ service

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New data rules coming in February 2019