New data rollover rules have left a bunch of loopholes for networks, says expert

Tech guru Jan Vermeulen says cellular network providers are still able to get away with a lot of questionable practices because of grey areas in the new data regulations.

Communications regulator Icasa this month introduced new rules regulating practices associated with data expiration and out-of-bundle data billing.

Vermeulen says these rules "have left a bunch of loopholes for networks" to take advantage of.

Read: Vodacom to reduce roll-over data cost as Icasa says its side-stepping the rules

Icasa has to some degree allowed the operators to make their own decisions on how to implement the regulations, he argues.

The tech expert explains that the rollover of data is not an automatic process and that cellphone users have to follow certain prompts of adhere to certain terms and conditions.

For example, Vermeulen says that to rollover expired data networks may ask users to make a request through a USSD menu or buy a new data bundle within the expiry period.

The data rollover isn't necessarily automatic. You might have to do something [to save expiring data].

Jan Vermeulen, Editor at Large at MyBroadband.co.za

There's no obligation on the network operator to really inform the subscriber that their data is about to expire and what they can do to avoid the expiry.

Jan Vermeulen, Editor at Large at MyBroadband.co.za

Also read: 5 things to know about the new rules on data expiry that kick in from March

The rules will differ depending on the operator and depending on the type of data bundle you buy (hourly bundle, versus weekly or monthly bundle).

Every network has its own way of handling data expiry, rollover and transfer... There are all kinds of hairy, sticky areas that Icasa didn't realLy make provision for in the regulations.

Jan Vermeulen, Editor at Large at MyBroadband.co.za

He says network subscribers need to educate themselves about the new data rules and how the various operators have implemented them.

Listen to the discussion:


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