Data Must Fall: ICASA Cracks The Whip On Data Prices

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ICASA intends to change the End-user and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations with fresh mobile data laws.

People who would like to comment on the proposed regulations have 30 days to do so from 7 August 2017.

ICASA would like mobile operators to send SMS notifications at 50%, 75%, 90%, and 100% depletion of voice, SMS, or data bundles, and has instructed that networks must allow users to select if they want to use out-of-bundle data.

This means Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C will have to stop you from continuing to use data for between R1 to R2 per MB when your bundle is finished.

“A Licensee must ensure that an end-user is not defaulted automatically to out-of-bundle data charges upon depletion of data bundles,” said ICASA. “Where an end-user does not opt-in or opt-out of out-of-bundle data usage when a data bundle has been depleted, a Licensee must automatically disconnect the end-user from out-of-bundle data usage until such time that the end-user gives express consent or authorisation.”

ICASA has also ordered that the operator must provide you with the ability to top up your data.

Data expiry

The new regulations also order set validity periods for data bundles, adding that operators must warn users seven days before their data expires. If you recharge before the expiry date of your current data bundle, your unused data should roll over to the following month, said ICASA.

The validity periods are lain out in the table below.

ICASA said these regulations will apply after they are published in the Government Gazette.

Data bundle sizes

Data bundle sizes Validity period
 1MB -50MB 10 days
 50MB-500MB 30 days
 500MB-1GB 60 days
 1GB-5GB 90 days
 5GB-10GB 180 days
 10GB-20GB 12 months
 20GB+ 24 months