Mobile data which does not just expire – What Vodacom and MTN have to say

Cell C, MTN, and Vodacom will respond to proposed mobile data regulations from ICASA. The regulator wants new standards for the expiry of data bundles and out-of-bundle billing[1]. ICASA published the proposed regulations in the Government Gazette on 7 August, giving stakeholders 30 days to respond.

It wants mobile operators to send SMS notifications at 50%, 75%, 90%, and 100% depletion of voice, SMS, or data bundles. The regulations also mandate networks to let subscribers choose whether they want to use out-of-bundle data. The proposal also sets out minimum validity periods for data bundles – as shown in the table below – and states that unused mobile data should roll over to the following month if a user recharges when a bundle is not depleted.

Data bundle sizes

Validity period

1MB -50MB 10 days
50MB-500MB 30 days
500MB-1GB 60 days
1GB-5GB 90 days
5GB-10GB 180 days
10GB-20GB 12 months
20GB+ 24 months

MTN – We will submit comments

MTN said it has noted the proposed amendments and is “applying its mind”.

“The proposed amendments governs the provision and charging of voice, SMS, and data services,” said Moses Mashisane, GM for regulatory affairs at MTN SA. It will submit comments to ICASA within the deadline.

Vodacom – We brought the price of data down

Vodacom said it will participate in ICASA’s consultation process on the regulations. “Vodacom is committed to bringing down data prices and has brought down effective data pricing by 44% over the last 3 years,” it said.

“Vodacom has made significant inroads in recent years in its pricing transformation journey.” It said it also remains committed to addressing issues around out-of-bundle billing.

Cell C – We will make submissions

Cell C said it is studying the draft regulations and will make submissions to the regulator within the stipulated timeframe. “Once we have had the opportunity to properly interrogate the document, we will make a comment,” said Cell C.

Telkom – We will comment when it is appropriate

“Our subject matter experts are in receipt of the draft that was published and are now in the process of scrutinising the same,” said Telkom.

“Telkom has consistently reviewed its products and pricing and will continue to do so with due consideration for any and all mechanisms that are aimed at further reducing the cost to communicate.”

Now read: Expiring mobile data bundles prejudice consumers: ICASA[2]


  1. ^ expiry of data bundles and out-of-bundle billing (
  2. ^ Expiring mobile data bundles prejudice consumers: ICASA (

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