ICASA has announced that new regulations will block operators from charging out-of-bundle (OOB) tariffs without subscriber consent.
ICASA published its draft End-User and Subscriber Service Charter regulations for comment in 2017, which dealt with OOB billing.
It conducted public hearings at the beginning of March 2018, where stakeholders expressed their opinions on the issues in the regulations.
ICASA proposed regulations to govern the rules on mobile data expiry and out-of-bundle billing.
In particular, the revised draft regulations stated that prepaid data bundles must have a minimum expiry period of three years.
ICASA also stated that operators may not automatically start billing subscribers out-of-bundle tariffs when their data bundles are depleted.
Instead, they must present subscribers with the option to buy a new bundle, or agree to out-of-bundle billing.
Supporting its regulations on out-of-bundle rules, ICASA proposed that operators must send usage depletion notifications as customers consume their data bundles.
ICASA also proposed that users’ mobile data must roll over if they do not deplete their bundles, and that consumers can transfer data to other subscribers on the same network.
Following the hearings on the regulations, the following proposals have made it into the final regulations:
- All network operators must allow consumers to roll over data.
- All network operators must allow consumers to transfer data to other subscribers on the same network.
- All network operators are barred from charging out-of-bundle tariffs without specific consent from a subscriber.