All South African cellphone users are now able to transfer data to other people on the same network, in line with new regulations from the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa).
But Vodacom has confirmed that it will charge its clients for the transfer - the other carriers will do it for free.
Earlier this week, Vodacom reversed a previous decision to charge up to R49 for data rollovers following widespread criticism.
In a statement, Vodacom said in line with Icasa’s new regulations, consumers would be allowed to transfer data to people on the Vodacom network for free up to 50MB and a maximum of R20 for 1GB. 1GB costs R149 at Vodacom.
The service is free at Telkom, Cell C and MTN.
Icasa’s new regulations require that cellular companies warn consumers before their data runs out. They also have to get permission to switch consumers over to out-of-bundle rates, and allow consumers to roll over data to the next month.
The new regulations were set to come into effect on March 1, but the regulator postponed the requirement at the last minute on Thursday evening.
Regulations must now be implemented by April 12 - six weeks away. But most of the carriers have already adopted the new rules, including the transfer of data between clients.
Icasa’s new rules aim to bring more transparency around data pricing, particularly around out-of-bundle charges where consumer were charged up to 2,639% more than typical data.
Most South African carriers have since dropped out-bundle-rates to convince users to make use of the service since they will no longer automatically be switched to the service.
Out-of-bundle rates at South Africa’s four largest cellular service now are: