South Africans have until 18 May to make their submissions to Icasa. The Authority gazetted the regulations at the end of March for public comment. Data bundles currently have a 30-day expiry period if they are not used within the specified time, they expire. Airtime does not follow the same rules.
With the current regulations, data bundles are typically only valid for 30 days. If the regulations that are being proposed are successful, mobile service operators will extend the expiry date for data to six months.
Icasa spokesperson Paseka Maleka shared that the amendments to the regulations were necessitated for a number of reasons.
“Including concerns raised by various stakeholders, consumer groups and social media campaigns with regards to data expiry rules. High out-of-bundle rates and out-of-bundle rules currently applied by licensees. Some of the proposed amendments are that unused data obtained either through prepaid or postpaid channels shall not expire before six months,”
Paseka Maleka, Icasa spokesperson
Experts believe Icasa will be benefiting consumers and operators
Telecoms expert Arthur Goldstuck believes that Icasa is making moves in the right direction. He shared that Icasa is forcing mobile operators to go forward with business practices that are in the interest of consumers.
He further explained that in end, mobile operators and consumers will benefit, reports SABC News. Goldstuck says that consumers will have less of a reason to distrust operations. This will, in turn, build greater loyalty.
“The moment you take away something from a consumer for which they paid, you are creating both distrust and disloyalty,” says Goldstuck.
SABC given green light to charge DSTV for its free-to-air channels
SABC has been given permission by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to charge MultiChoice for its channels.
The new changes stipulate that pay-TV must carry SABC 1, 2 and 3. The only channels that are optional are SABC Education and SABC Sport. As it stands, the compulsory channels were aired on satellite TV platforms like DStv at no additional cost to them.
Icasa decided that the commercial terms for the SABC’s three must-carry channels should be negotiated by public broadcasting services (PBS) and pay-TV licensees without interference from the regulator. Read the full story here.