File picture: AP
File picture: AP

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's Independent Communications Authority (Icasa) has reached an agreement with Cell C, Vodacom and MTN on data regulations.

Icasa said the networks have agreed to drop their court challenge and would introduce the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations in February next year.

''Icasa is pleased that there is now certainty on the effective date of the regulations. This is important as the regulations provide much-needed relief to consumers by prescribing minimum standards of service in terms of which licensees are compelled to allow data roll-over, data transfer and most importantly to cease the automatic charging of out of bundle rates,” ICASA CEO Willington Ngwepe said in a statement.

In terms of the new Icasa regulations announced in February, service providers are prohibited from charging subscribers out-of-bundle rates without consent. Networks are also required to roll over unused data. South African users lose the paid for data when it expires.

Cell C and MTN requested an extension of the date of implementation of the regulations, which was 8 June 2018. Cell C had requested six months’ extension. Icasa refused to grant extensions, prompting the networks to turn to the courts.  

Icasa at the time said it decided to oppose the matter on the basis that it is required, in terms of its legislative mandate, to act and regulate in the public's interest.

- African News Agency (ANA)