How Icasa’s new regulations will affect data bundles

The charter states that users must be presented with an option to opt-in or opt-out of out-of-bundle usage.

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CAPE TOWN - The new regulations around data bundles and cellphone use will come into effect in March.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (Icasa) End-User and Subscriber Service Charter will require all mobile operators to change their practices associated with data expiration and out-of-bundle data billing.

According to Icasa, a licence must send usage depletion notifications via SMS, push notification or any other applicable means when usage reaches 50%, 80% and 100% depletion of voice and/or SMS bundles.

The charter states that users must be presented with an option to opt-in or opt-out of out-of-bundle usage.

Icasa adds that a licensee must provide an end-user with an option to transfer data to other end-users utilising services of the same Electronic Communications Service licensee.

Speaking on CapeTalk on Monday, a technology journalist and web developer at MyBroadband Jan Vermeulen said some conditions apply when it comes to the roll-over, and each operator has its own way of implementing rollovers.

“When you are in danger of your roll-over window coming to an end, then you can transfer the data to someone else on the same network.”

Vermeulen says there’s quite a lot that’s good in the regulations; namely, the crackdown on out-of-bundles billing, which is when a user runs out of data and they’re suddenly billed per megabyte rates.

“The regulations put an end to that, and make it so that the operator has to offer a way for users to opt-out of it.”