‘Regulations over data could push prices up’

The notice suggests smaller data bundles between 1 and 5 gigs remain valid for 90 days while the bigger bundles must have a lifespan of at least 24 months.

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CAPE TOWN - A tech expert says he anticipates mobile operators to claim that stronger regulations over data expiry could push up prices.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) published draft regulations in the Government Gazette on Monday in an attempt to address the issue.

The notice suggests smaller data bundles between one and five gigs remain valid for 90 days while the bigger bundles must have a lifespan of at least 24 months.

Techcentral's Duncan Mcleod says he anticipates strong arguments from operators over the proposals.

“If you introduce these longer periods for data expiry it could have the unintended consequence of actually pushing prices up because it requires the operator to plan for the demand that they currently more easily plan for. Whether that happens in practice or not, I think that’s open for debate.”