Business Insider Edition

You can't roll over your voice minutes at Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C – and that is not going to change

James de Villiers , Business Insider SA
 Oct 23, 2019, 09:12 AM

(Instagram, @vodacom)
(Instagram, @vodacom)
  • Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C all say voice minutes are subject to expiration, and can not be rolled over.
  • Network operators are now forced to allow consumers to roll over data – but that does not apply to voice bundles.
  • The providers said they have no intention to change the rules soon. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Cellphone voice minutes at South Africa’s three largest network providers – Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C – are subject to expiration, and can not be rolled over if not used. 

Since March the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has forced all network providers to allow consumers to roll over data before it expires, removing a long-standing gripe with cellphone services.

But Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C all say they have no plans to allow voice minutes to roll in similar fashion.

Read: Cellphone data rules change this week - here's how it will work at Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom

Instead all three operators confirmed that, in line with Icasa rules, they send SMSes to warn customers when they are reaching 50%, 80%, and 100% of voice minute usage.

Vodacom, South Africa’s largest cellular network provider, said the expiry period for voice minutes depends on the voice bundle bought. 

For example, a once-off voice bundle is valid for 30 days from the date of purchase, and a monthly recurring bundle will expire on the last day of the respective month. 

“There are no anticipated changes in this regard,” Vodacom said. 

Also read: You can now make a phone call from your smartwatch in SA on both Vodacom and MTN – on one specific watch

MTN’s corporate affairs executive Jacqui O’Sullivan echoed Vodacom’s stance and said that a bundle will either be depleted by a user using it, or the validity period being reached. 

Cell C said only on its MediaPlay and Pinnacle contracts do the voice minutes get carried over for an additional calendar month.

Telkom did not respond to questions from Business Insider South Africa, and Rain - the country’s latest cellular network provider - does not provide voice minutes.

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