Data may not have fallen yet, but consumers will soon have more control over the data they do have.
The Independent Communications Authority Of South Africa (Icasa) has announced new regulations that will block operators from charging out-of-bundle (OOB) tariffs without subscriber consent.
In a presentation held on Thursday afternoon (25 April) in Sandton, the regulator said that the decision was made after publishing its draft End-User and Subscriber Service Charter regulations for comment in 2017, and subsequent public consultations.
Icasa said the new data usage regulations would allow users to keep the data as long as they remained active on the cellphone network. Service providers are now required to present subscribers with the option to buy a new bundle, or agree to out-of-bundle billing – alongside usage depletion notifications (SMSs) as customers consume their data bundles.
Icasa councillor Bontlenyana Mokhele also announced that subscribers should receive notifications on their data usage‚ transfer data to other users on the same network and network providers cannot charge different rates for data used out of bundle without subscribers’ consent.
The new regulations will be effective a month after they have been published in the government gazette.