South African mobile operators are required to comply with ICASA’s End-User and Subscriber Service Charter by 28 February 2019.
These regulations require networks to implement data rollover and transfer functionality, in addition to removing automatic out-of-bundle spending.
Telkom and Cell C have taken proactive stances towards the implementation of these regulations, being among first to announce changes to their systems.
Vodacom and MTN have taken more time to announce the changes to their networks, however, with Vodacom only announcing its data rollover and transfer plans on 27 February 2019.
The regulations forced mobile operators to build systems which allowed for the transfer of data to other users on the same network, and many have provided this functionality without additional cost.
Vodacom stated it will charge users, though, depending on how much data they transfer.
Vodacom announced that data transfers of 50MB will be free, but larger amounts will be charged.
It stated that a fee of R20 will be levied for the transfer of 1GB.
A full breakdown of the pricing for data transfers on Vodacom are not available yet.
MTN has not announced new data transfer mechanisms for its network ahead of the ICASA deadline, but the company said it does offer a DataShare feature.
This allows MTN customers to share their contract data or monthly data bundle with up to 20 MTN numbers.
Users can link or delink numbers by dialling *136*5# and there is no charge for activating this service.
Cell C implemented its data transfer and rollover changes in line with ICASA’s regulations in 2018.
The network has always had the option of transferring data to others if customers had purchased a data bundle, but it has now enhanced and extended this service to allow for the transfer of additional types of data bundles.
The service applies to data bundles and inclusive data on contracts. Promotional or free data, Black data, and bundles dedicated to social services are excluded.
Cell C customers will be able to transfer data bundles three times per day, up to 1GB per month, for free.
Telkom customers can transfer data to other users by accessing the “Transfer” option in the *180# Telkom USSD menu.
After selecting the data transfer option and entering the destination Telkom number, users are presented with a menu detailing daily and monthly transfer limits.
Telkom customers have a daily data transfer limit of 1GB, and a monthly limit of 10GB.
Customers are not charged for transferring data to other users.