SA regulator proposes no data expiry for six months
South Africa's telecoms regulator has proposed new regulations that would change expiry rules for data, voice and SMS services so they could not expire for six months.
The proposed amendments to the End-user and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations were gazetted by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) on March 31, 2022, and operators have 30 working days to comment on the changes.
In South Africa, data bundles are usually valid for 30 days but some promotional offers can be valid for shorter windows at a lower price.
ICASA made previous changes to the End-user and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations in February 2019, which outlawed automatic out-of-bundle (OOB) billing and forced operators to allow users to either opt in or opt out of OOB data charges, which had historically been far higher than in-bundle costs.
The 2019 change also said operators must allow users to roll their data over but left it up to the operators to determine for how long. Now ICASA is getting more specific with its rules as it believes some operators have placed restrictions on how consumers take advantage of the previous regulation changes.
Some of the new proposed changes to the regulations in 2022 include:
- Free Data for All: SA Competition Watchdog
- Lower Out-Of-Bundle Revenue Hits Vodacom's South Africa Sales
- CompCom data war could backfire on smaller players
- SA Competition Commission Forcing MTN & Vodacom to Cut Data Prices
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— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa