MTN has announced that it will implement new mobile data rules as required by ICASA’s End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations.
The regulations require mobile network to offer customers the option to roll over unused data, and transfer data to other subscribers on the same network.
The regulations also stated that data must be consumed in the order it is purchased, meaning that operators may no longer deplete newer data bundles before previous bundles have been finished.
Responding to questions at a media briefing in Johannesburg, MTN South Africa CEO Godfrey Motsa said MTN would implement the new data rules by the deadline of 28 February 2019.
“I can confidently tell you that we have worked with the regulator and other operators, and we believe that we will be compliant by the deadline,” Motsa said.
Both MTN and Cell C recently settled their court fight with ICASA over the implementation of the new data rules, with all parties resolving on the extended deadline.
Motsa acknowledged that MTN had an issue with the proposed implementation of these regulations, but said this has now been resolved.
“Our staff is currently still busy with development and testing, but we will comply with the new data rules by the deadline,” he said.
Motsa added that MTN will also announce updated offerings for its customers in January, stating that these could go above and beyond the changes required by ICASA.
Telkom leading the way
While Vodacom, and MTN have been relatively quiet about their plans to implement the new data rules, Telkom has taken a stronger approach.
Telkom recently announced that it was implementing the new data rules, adding support for mobile data rollover and allowing customers to transfer mobile data to others.
This makes Telkom the first mobile network in South Africa to enable data transfer in accordance with ICASA’s end-user subscriber rules.
Mobile data bundles sized from 25MB-500MB will now last for six months, too, with bigger bundles expiring after two calendar months.
Under ICASA’s new regulations, all Internet service providers – including mobile networks – are prohibited from charging subscribers for out-of-bundle usage without consent.
Telkom has another advantage in this arena, as it has already blocked automatic out-of-bundle billing on its plans be default.
Cell C has made also made progress towards this goal, implementing its Spend Control service to remove out-of-bundle data usage, and rolling out data bundle usage notifications as required by ICASA.