South Africans will have more control over their mobile data bundles at the end of February 2019. This is thanks to The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (Icasa) End-User and Subscriber Service Charter amendment regulations, taking effect.

The amendment regulations were supposed to have come into effect in June 2018, but implementation was delayed after MTN and CellC took Icasa to court. The court sided with the two operators, and implementation was postponed until this year, giving networks more time to comply with the new regulations.

For years, South African cellphone users have complained about service providers’ seemingly unfair practices when it comes to mobile data, especially data expiring and out-of-bundle charges.


The new mobile data regulations in a nutshell:

  • Out-Of-Bundle Billing: When data bundles run out, there will no longer be an automatic switch to out-of-bundle charges; mobile users will have to opt in or out, even if they are on a contract. Should mobile users choose to accept out-of-bundle charges, they will be able to set a limit.
  • Usage Notifications: Service providers will have to send users usage notifications for data, SMS and voice bundles at specific points of depletion, i.e. 20%, 50% and 100%.
  • Data Rollover: Data will no longer expire. Service providers have to allow data to roll over and be used up before any further data is allocated or charged for.
  • Data Transfers: Mobile users will be allowed to transfer data to other users on the same network.