ICASA will not regulate the minimum expiry period of data.
Its clarification on the issue of the minimum validity of prepaid data was made with the announcement that network operators may not automatically charge out-of-bundle tariffs.
This comes after ICASA published its draft End-User and Subscriber Service Charter regulations for comment in 2017.
It conducted public hearings at the beginning of March 2018, where the National Consumer Commission stated the Consumer Protection Act requires prepaid data to last a minimum of three years.
However, ICASA said that for the final regulations it steered clear of prescribing a specific period for data expiry.
Instead, it will require network operators to offer customers the option to roll over unused data, and transfer data to subscribers on the same network.
“The requirement to roll over and transfer data hopefully addresses the expiry issue,” said ICASA.
ICASA did not stipulate how long data must be rolled over for, though. “We did not want to be too prescriptive and stifle innovation,” said ICASA.
The regulations also stated that data must be consumed in the order it is purchased.
Operators may no longer deplete newer data bundles before previous bundles are finished, it said.