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Telkom customers frustrated over new roaming partner

July 20, 2019 • Features, Mobile and Telecoms, Southern Africa, Top Stories

Telkom customers frustrated over new roaming partner

Telkom customers frustrated over new roaming partner.

South African network provider, Telkom, has been hit with backlash after many customers have taken to social media to vent about the handover process from MTN to Vodacom. 

In case you missed it, Telkom announced last year that it did not plan to renew its contract with then roaming partner, MTN, and would instead enter into an agreement with Vodacom. This switch came into effect on 1 July 2019. 

Since the handover, Telkom customers discovered two problems; (1) their devices would automatically connect to Telkom’s virtual roaming network (TelkomSA-R) on Vodacom’s infrastructure despite there being standard Telkom connectivity available and (2) Vodacom only offers All-Net data bundles, not LTE bundles, meaning LTE customers no longer had useable data. 

In response to frustrated customers, Telkom says, “We recently changed roaming partners to enhance your network experience where you don’t have Telkom coverage. Where you see TelkomSA-R at the top of your phone screen, we advise that you purchase All-Net bundles instead of Telkom bundles”.

“Telkom bundles will work great where you don’t see an ‘R’. To achieve this you will need to change your settings by removing the roaming option. If you prefer roaming please leave it enabled.”

In an article for My Broadband, Jamie McKane says, “The reason these users are experiencing issues when connecting to Vodacom infrastructure is that they only have Telkom LTE data available with no All-Net data balance. As the system stands, you will need to make sure that you have enough All-Net Telkom data to take advantage of the mobile operator’s roaming deal with Vodacom”. 

“If you would rather just buy cheaper Telkom-only data and not roam on Vodacom, you should simply turn off roaming in your smartphone settings,” adds McKane. 

By Jenna Cook

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