Earlier this year the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) proposed new regulations regarding data in South Africa.
Among the regulations the authority said that network operators would have to gain express permission from customers before charging them out-of-bundle rates.
We’re now starting to see that ruling coming into effect with Cell C announcing Spend Control.
This new service allows customers to set a limit on how much out-of-bundle data, SMS, or voice spend. If you ask us, this should have always been a feature not just on Cell C’s network but all networks.
Spend Control can be accessed via self-service channels such as USSD codes or the Cell C app. With this feature users can also set out-of-bundle charges to zero so that they avoid those charges altogether.
“Customers can at any time set their out-of-bundle threshold to whatever they like and this will be applied for all out of bundle spend from that point forward. This gives them complete control over their costs,” chief commercial officer at Cell C, Junaid Munshi explained.
The operator is also launching new bundle depletion notifications (which are coincidentally also part of Icasa’s ruling earlier this year) for voice, SMS and data.
Cell C says these notifications aren’t new but have been improved and will be more intuitively presented.
These new and improved notifications as well as Spend Control will be available to Cell C customers in November though an exact date was not revealed.
Then, regarding data rollover Cell C says it is in the process of improving and expanding its data rollover service so that users can extend the validity of their data.
This feature is already possible on all contracts and SmartData offers where users get a one month rollover period.
“We are also finalising enhancement to our data transfer service which will allow customers to transfer any data to anyone on Cell C,” Munshi said.
Those last two features – data rollover and data transfer – will be implemented in mid-December.
While we do commend Cell C for this slew of features we’re also mindful of the fact that these decisions were prompted by Icasa’s ruling this year.