MTN customers recently discovered a new Out of Bundle Barring option in their USSD menus.
Out of Bundle Barring was available to MTN users by dialing *141*0#, and could be toggled on or off via this menu.
The service stated it would prevent the unintentional use of airtime when a data bundle was depleted by ending the data session.
MyBroadband tested the service and found that it worked on a prepaid 30-day data bundle, but did not work with a one-hour data bundle.
No data-blocking service
Following the tests, MyBroadband contacted MTN with questions regarding the out-of-bundle system – after which the option was removed from the USSD menu.
MTN said the Out of Bundle Barring system was part of a pilot programme which was “unintentionally exposed” to the public network.
“An error on the part of MTN has led to the incorrect impression that the company has launched an out-of-bundle barring service,” it said.
“This is currently not the case, MTN has not launched OOB barring functionality.”
A technical error on Thursday evening resulted in its pilot project menu being exposed to its customer base, rather than the sample groups working on the solution.
“We apologise for the confusion this may have caused some of our customers,” said MTN.
MTN said it has been developing out-of-bundle data management features to deal with possible regulatory requirements laid out by ICASA.
MTN said the pilot projects related to the management of OOB data will continue and it will inform customers of any further developments.