Afrihost has stated that it engaged with MTN about the network charging customers for “LTE connection data”.
Test by MyBroadband showed that airtime “disappeared” from two MTN prepaid SIMs installed in LTE-capable smartphones.
MTN said the airtime usage was a result of LTE being a data-only technology, and that LTE devices use data packets to establish a connection to the network.
Cell C, Vodacom, and Telkom said they do not view this “connection data” in the same way as mobile data used for websites or apps.
MTN stated it was not aware that its competitors were effectively zero-rating this data, and said it would do the same in the coming month.
Clients should not be charged
Afrihost said it “raised concerns” with MTN on a number of occasions about the connection charges, but did not receive a “satisfactory reply” from the network.
Afrihost’s mobile services, which includes data packages, are powered by MTN’s network.
Afrihost said its mobile users were affected by MTN’s “LTE connection data charges” – including customers who purchased airtime from Afrihost or MTN.
“This charge is not levied by Afrihost, but directly from MTN to the affected client’s airtime,” said Afrihost.
“We believe it’s best for our clients for this charge to be waived. Afrihost does not benefit at all from this charge.”
Afrihost said it was important to note that it has no control over the charge, and did not levy or benefit from it.
“We believe in open and transparent billing, and we welcome MTN’s announcement that they will revise this practice,” said Afrihost.