Operators given more time to implement data expiry rules - TechCentral

Operators given more time to implement data expiry rules

A settlement has been reached by communications regulator Icasa and mobile operators over the implementation of new rules regarding data expiry and rollover.

Cell C was due in court this week to challenge Icasa’s deadline for the implementation of the new regulations, arguing the period was not reasonable. MTN joined its rival in the court action.

Cell C filed an urgent application at the high court in Johannesburg 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.

A spokeswoman for Cell C said on Thursday that the matter “has been settled and the effective date of implementation of the end-user services and subscriber charter regulations has been moved out to the end of February 2019”.

This, she said, gives operators “more time to implement the necessary changes in order to be compliant with the regulations”.

“Our intention was always to comply with the regulations; we simply asked for more time to implement complex changes.”

The settlement has been made an order of the court.

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.

What the regulations say

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. — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media