• Good news for mobile data users.
  • One of the positive changes to come out of the recent pressure placed on ICASA and the government is the carry-over of unused data.
  • Until recently, consumers would lose any unused data at month end. Despite having paid forfeit, they would simply forfeit any data that had not been consumed.

Continued consumer pressure, fueled by the #DataMustFall movement saw a number of changes being ruled on in what became known as the end-user and service subscriber charter. All networks have complied with the terms of the charter.

The other good news to come out of the charter ruling is a notification warning once subscribers have reached 50%, 80% and 100% of their data bundle. This will give them sufficient notice to avoid going out of bundle. Alternatively, they can purchase an additional bundle or knowingly pay out of bundle rates. Out of bundle data is considerably more expensive, sometimes as much as 10 times more than in bundle data.

In the past, many an unsuspecting subscriber went out of bundle and only realised when they received a very high bill the following month. For prepaid subscribers, out of bundle data meant that their airtime bundle would deplete rapidly.

Both of these moves are positive for contract as well as prepaid subscribers and will allow users to make better and more informed decisions regarding their cellular spend. It will reduce the common occurrence of bill shock which left many subscribers with astronomical bills that they had great difficulty paying. Consumers will now be aware when they are going out of bundle and will have to agree to the costs.

There are also changes to the transfer of data from one subscriber to another which is more good news for South African consumers. It is hoped that more changes will follow in the future.

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