Vodacom - the country’s largest cellular service provider - will no longer charge consumers to roll over data.
This is after the cellular provider earlier announced plans to charge up to R49 to roll over 1GB in data. This sparked widespread public outrage.
New Icasa regulations require all South African mobile operators to allow consumers to roll over data to the following month starting on March 1.
In a statement on Wednesday morning, Vodacom said contract customers on data-only packages can already roll over data at no additional charge.
From the beginning of March, remaining data on bundle purchases by all customers will also be rolled over at no additional charge, the operator said.
Vodacom was previously planning to charge R5 to roll over 100 megabytes (mb) in data, R12 to roll over data between 100mb and 250mb, R19 to roll over data between 250mb and 500mb and R29 for data between 500mb and 1GB.
For 1GB and above, Vodacom was planning R49. 1GB data costs R149 at Vodacom.
Icasa, which regulates South Africa’s cellular network industry, said Vodacom was trying to sidestep its regulations by charging consumers for data rollover.
Vodacom consumer business unit chief officer Jorge Mendes said the operator has gone beyond Icasa’s regulations by also slashing out-of-data bundle rates.
From March, Icasa requires mobile operators to get permission from consumers before using out of bundle data.
“We have gone further by slashing out-of-bundle data rates by between 45-70% to ensure increased value to customers,” Mendes said in a statement.
Out of bundle rates will now cost R0.49 per MB across the board, compared to the R0.99 Vodacom previously charged prepaid customers, and the R0.89 it charged contract customers.
Mendes said from April, the operator will also implement below-inflation increases to contracts which takes place on a yearly basis.
He said over the past three years, Vodacom has reduced the price of data by more than 40%.
“As South Africa’s leading network, we work hard to provide great value to our customers,” Mendes said.
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