Cell C has become the second major mobile operator in South Africa, after Telkom, to comply fully with communications regulator Icasa’s new data-expiry rules.
The company said on Thursday that after “months of intensive development”, it now complies with all the requirements of Icasa’s end-user and subscriber service charter regulations.
Under a recent court settlement with Icasa, operators have until 28 February 2019 to comply with the new rules, which govern areas such as data expiry and data rollover.
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.
Last month, Cell C unveiled its “Spend Control” service, allowing its customers to control their out-of-bundle spend. “This service goes above and beyond the data requirement in the regulations, with Cell C offering granular out-of-bundle spend control across voice, data and SMS for all its customers through *147# USSD, the Cell C app and online portal channels,” it said.
The company also introduced enhanced notifications, offering customers clear and timely notices as bundles are being depleted — a requirement of the new regulations. Customers now receive notifications at 20%, 50%, 80% and 100% depletion intervals. They can also track bundle depletion and balances through the Cell C app.
It said it will make the final two services required by Icasa available to customers this weekend. The first is Data Transfer, which allows Cell C customers to send data to other Cell C users. Cell C has always had the option of transferring data to friends and family if customers had purchased a data bundle. However, it has now enhanced and extended this service to allow for the transfer of additional types of data bundles.
The service applies to inclusive data on bundles, from daily data bundles, through to its 365-day bundles and the inclusive data on contracts. Promotional or free data, data for the Black video-on-demand service and bundles dedicated to social services are excluded. Customers will be able to transfer data three times per day up to 1GB per month for free.
Enhanced data rollover
Cell C’s enhanced version of data rollover will also be made available this weekend, it said. Cell C already has validity periods of up to 365 days on some of its data offerings and extended validity periods of up to two calendar months on its inclusive contract data. In addition, customers have been able to extend their remaining data bundle balance by purchasing another data bundle before the current bundle expires. Unused data on recurring bundles automatically rolled over while the bundle was active.
“Cell C is now enhancing this service to allow additional data rollover,” it said. “The enhanced service allows customers to extend the validity date of their data, ensuring any remaining balance is not forfeited. The service allows customers to extend their data by one, seven or 30 days at a time. Customers with 100MB or less remaining will be able to roll over their data completely free for an additional one and seven days, while customers that roll over between 101MB and 500MB of data can roll over free for an additional day.
“For larger bundle balances and extensions, customers will pay a nominal fee to roll over the data. As with data transfer, the rollover service applies to data bundles and inclusive data as part of customers’ contracts.”
The two new services will be available on USSD from this weekend and will be extended to the app and Web portal early in 2019. – © 2018 NewsCentral Media