Telkom beats rivals to implement Icasa data rules

30 November 2018


Telkom has become the first mobile operator in South Africa to implement communications regulator Icasa’s end-user subscriber service charter, which governs data expiry.


This means Telkom mobile customers can now transfer data to other users and roll over unused data.


“Telkom customers on all plans can now transfer their data between Telkom mobile customers and enjoy extended data validity periods,” the company said in a statement on Monday.

Telkom has ensured that there is greater benefit for customers who buy smaller bundles from 25MB to 500MB


Earlier this month, Cell C and MTN reached a settlement with Icasa that would allow them until 28 February 2019 to implement the new rules.


Cell C filed an urgent application at the high court in Johannesburg against Icasa, arguing that the deadline Icasa had given it, namely 8 June 2018, was too tight and that it would take it at least six months to comply. MTN South Africa joined the application.


The regulations, which deal with data expiry and out-of-bundle rules, are meant to protect consumers from high charges. They were published on 7 May, with operators given one month to comply.


Specifically, the amended regulations state that operators must:


- Offer data rollover to customers, though Icasa has left to the companies to determine how long that period of rollover should be;


- Send usage depletion notifications to consumers once they have used 50%, 80% and 100% of their bundles;


- Ensure that out-of-bundle data is explicitly opt-in only — consumers must not automatically be defaulted to out-of-bundle rates when their bundles are depleted;


- Provide an option to offer unused data to other users on the same network.


Andrew Dawson, Telkom executive for mobile products and services, said the company proceeded with the implementation of the regulations “despite regulatory uncertainty” because it “believes it is the right thing to do for the customer and consistent with its vision to lead the charge on data”.


“In its implementation of the customer services charter, Telkom has ensured that there is greater benefit for customers who buy smaller bundles from 25MB to 500MB. These customers, on prepaid packages, will now have up to six months to use their data purchases. — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media