Many mobile users are unaware of the terms of their cellphone contract plans, particularly when upgrading packages or migrating to different networks.
Consumers often forfeit accumulated data and airtime when changing contract plans - even on the same service provider.
Steven Ambrose, CEO of tech consulting company Strategy Worx, says as many as 15 million contracts and 18 million subscribers are affected by lost carry-over data.
Ambrose advises that consumers need to speak to their service providers before making any contract changes.
He has encouraged consumers to ask about the carry-over policy that applies to their plans.
The mobile network business has fundamentally changed, offering classic, hybrid and converged plans for cellphone contracts.
According to Ambrose, network providers are faced with the tough task of integrating old and new product offerings into their established industry billing system.
We've all got this problem of sitting on packages that are, perhaps, a combination. A combination of old, new, data built-ons, data bundles etc., etc.— Steven Ambrose, CEO of Strategy Worx
Ambrose has cautioned consumers to see the provision of data and airtime as a service, rather than a physical product.
He says networks offer the ability to use a certain amount of predefined data or airtime - not the amount itself.
You're buying a service. You're not buying a product. It is essential for us to understand that data and airtime is a service.— Steven Ambrose, CEO of Strategy Worx
Have a listen to Steven Ambrose break it down: