Mobile network operators in South Africa have said ICASA has not given them enough time to comply with its new regulations.
ICASA published its new End-User and Subscriber Service Charter regulations in the government gazette on 7 May, and gave network operators 30 days to comply with its new rules.
The new regulations prohibit service providers from charging subscribers for out-of-bundle usage without consent. They also requires networks to offer the ability to roll over unused data, and transfer data to another subscriber on the same network.
Not enough time
Cell C said there is a lot of work that needs to be done before its is fully compliant with the regulations.
“To comply with all of the provisions, numerous system configurations will need to be made followed by testing before live implementation,” said a Cell C spokesperson.
“The 30-day timeframe stipulated by ICASA to implement the changes is not achievable, even with the best will in the world. We advised ICASA of this fact, but they proceeded to issue the regulations with this time period still included.”
While other operators were not as direct, concerns about ICASA’s implementation deadline were raised.
“We are encouraged by the direction of the regulations, as this will enable us to continue to differentiate our products and provide subscribers with cost-effective choices,” said a Telkom spokesperson.
“Telkom is making every effort to ensure that we meet the requirements before the stipulated deadline, however, there are a number of products and systems impacted.”
MTN said it is studying the regulations to understand the requirements and how to implement them.
“MTN offers a wide variety of products, which are very diverse in nature. With this in mind, MTN is analysing the regulations in order to understand how to implement the requirements in a practical manner.”
Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub told MyBroadband they plan to abide by ICASA’s new regulations, and Joosub said Vodacom is hard at work to implement the changes required by the deadline of 8 June.
“We are working hard to be technically ready to meet the deadline as best possible,” he said.
While working on implementing the new ICASA requirements, the networks said they were also examining the full ramifications of the new regulations.
“Cell C is in the process of assessing the technical implications of the amendments to the final End-User and Subscriber Services Charter Regulations,” chief legal officer for Cell C Graham Mackinnon told MyBroadband.