A decision by Vodacom to charge its customers for rolling over unused data to the next month would render efforts to lower the costs of data. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg

PARLIAMENT  - A decision by Vodacom to charge its customers for rolling over unused data to the next month would render efforts to lower the costs of data in South Africa meaningless, members of Parliament (MPs) heard on Tuesday.

Briefing Parliament's telecommunications portfolio committee, Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) chief executive Willington Ngwepe confirmed that Vodacom had informed them that the company would be charging consumers R49 for rolling over data.

"We did receive a notification of a tariff plan from one of the operators that they will be charging for rollover of data and also for transfer [of data]," said Ngwepe.

He said the telecommunications regulator had requested more details on the charges from Vodacom and received a submission on Monday. Icasa will now consider its response.

The move by Vodacom comes ahead of new regulations under the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter coming into effect on Thursday. 

The new rules on data include consumers being notified of how much data they are consuming, people being given the option to roll over or transfer data before its expires, and mobile operators not being able to charge consumers out of bundle rates without their prior consent.

- African News Agency (ANA)