With food and transport costs on the rise in South Africa, it’s imperative that the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) moves swiftly to finalise pro-consumer amendments to its End-User and Subscriber Service Charter (EUSSC) Regulations.

The Internet Service Provides Association (ISPA) states that, if adopted, the amendments will provide welcome basic cost relief for consumers because they require telecommunications operators to rollover data bundles for a minimum of six months.

The EUSSC regulations were last amended in early 2019 to include a requirement for operators to provide for the roll-over of data, but only after strong opposition from some industry sectors.

Voice and data are two sides of the same cost to communicate coin, according to ISPA. There are great options to minimise voice spend, and now more work needs to be done on a better deal for South Africans using mobile data to interact with the world.

In the fixed line data market the trend is increasingly towards offering uncapped services: data rollover is irrelevant when the amount of data you may use is not restricted. Where ISPA members do offer capped packages, many have already extended the data rollover period from 30 days to six months and longer.

“The vast majority of South Africans, however, rely on mobile data for all of their online needs and this is where regulatory intervention is required,” according to an ISPA statement.

The organisation welcomes the latest move from ICASA which is aligned with the outcomes of the Competition Commission’s Data Services Market Inquiry.