In a victory for consumers, telecommunications regulator Icasa says service providers MTN‚ Vodacom and Cell C must provide an option to roll over unused data‚ finally ending the frustration of customers losing unused data after 30 days. A TimesLIVE report says Icasa made the announcement when releasing its review of the 2016 End User and Subscriber Charter Regulations‚ which allows for the following:

* All licensees are required to send depletion notifications to consumers when their usage is 50%‚ 80% and 100% depleted.

* All licensees are required to provide an option to consumers to roll over unused data to ensure that consumers don't lose unused data.

* All licensees are required to provide an option to consumers to transfer data to other users on the same network.

* All licensees are no longer allowed to charge consumers out of bundle rates for data when data has run out without specific consent. This will ensure that consumers are not defaulted to out of bundle data charges which are higher than in-bundle charges.

These changes will be effective a month after Icasa has gazetted them, says the report.

Full TimesLIVE report

The announcement brought some disappointment for consumers, too, notes Legalbrief, as the regulator made no announcement on the data pricing, as was widely expected. Icasa said it stayed away from pricing issues because the regulation of prices required more detailed market analysis, notes Business Report.

Users will know at a later stage whether data prices will be cut.

According to a Moneyweb report, Icasa backed down on previous draft regulations that data bundles should not expire for three years. The report suggests this is likely to come as a big relief to mobile operators, which had warned the three-year expiry rule, if implemented, could have had the opposite effect that Icasa had intended, namely higher data prices. Icasa will provide detailed reasons for its change of heart on the issue when it publishes an explanations document alongside the regulations this week.

Full report in Business Report

Full Moneyweb report