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August 4th, 2017 by

With the exorbitant price of cell phone data in South Africa being a hot topic, MTN users are getting even less than what they bargained for.

MTN users are paying for data that is performing a disappearing act.

Wifi is the dominant source of energy that many devices run off. Whether you are at the office or at home, most people nowadays have some sort of Wifi connection available to running their phone.

On the odd occasion that you find yourself in a place without Wifi, you always make sure you have some data on reserve.

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Is Your Data Disappearing? 

A recent study conducted by My Broadband, bought prepaid SIM cards for MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom networks.

They bought airtime which they converted to data and then turned the ‘mobile data usage’ option off on the device.

This study ran over a period of a week.

By the end of the week, the MTN data bundle was finished even though the phone had been running off the Wifi connection the entire time.

According to MTN SA, “We can confirm that the depletion was due to internet data traffic being channelled directly to the handset via LTE technology. LTE is an always connected technology, and as a result of LTE standards any compatible device connecting to the LTE network receives an IP address.”

So basically, if your device is LTE compatible, then the network will run off your device. You may not even be aware of this until you notice that your data has disappeared.

“These charges only occur when an LTE device, containing an LTE SIM card is in an LTE coverage area. This affects less than 3% of our customer base and does not occur during any 3G or Edge data sessions,” explains MTN SA.

Read More about the best data deal in South Africa below

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What Are They Doing To Fix The Problem?

MTN’s response to the debacle was a simple “We thought everyone else was doing it”.

Seems good enough…. 

According to MTN SA, they are in the process of rectifying the problem so that they are on par with other networks.

“As a matter of priority, we are going to adjust our tariffs and align our data charging in LTE with our competitors. This will be implemented within the next 30 days.”

This is all good and well, however there has been no mention of remunerating their customers who lost data due to this problem.

Are you looking for the best quote on a new contract? Look no further!

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So, now, customers, who are out of pocket due to having to continuously top up their data, have basically been left high and dry.

According to Research ICT Africa, for over two years now South Africa has been named as the most expensive operator in all leading African economies.

With leading brands, MTN and Vodacom still being the most popular network providers, Telkom is the cheapest.

With Telkom’s 1GB data deals, this puts SA in the 25th spot against 49 other African countries when it comes to being the cheapest deal.

So are we actually getting a bang for our buck here or are we being taken for an expensive data ride?

Join our satisfied customers today!

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  • Fence

    I have a similar problem with my PC on Vodacom. 2Gig used to last a month, now it is gone in 10 days. I am not using my computer more than I used to and my wife is having the same problem on her laptop. ICASA needs to audit these blatant crooks.

  • Ashley Crookes

    I’ve noticed this for years, both on my MTN device and on my parents Vodacom devices. Data just magically disappearing, even though we don’t have LTE coverage, and we have our own wifi connection at home. I’ve had many fights with MTN over the years. When I had one of their data dongles a couple of years ago they just changed my limit on my contract when I had 6 months left to go and started STEALING extra money from me every month. I caught them out as it was substantial amounts of money, ie a few thousand rands a month when I had allegedly had gone over my limit. Right now I have an uncle who moved overseas 3 months ago, yet Cell C are still trying to run debit orders on his account even after he cancelled his contract in May, and paid them the penalty fees. His bank (FNB, best bank in SA!) has cancelled the debit order for him, so Cell C’s debits were bounced the past 2 months. NOW, Cell C have tried a new tactic, he had a R1507.79 bill each month, now he suddenly had 2 separate bills trying to be debited off his account for R1000 and R507.79 respectively – their accounts department probably thought no one would notice!!! These cellphone companies are run by a bunch of thieves, and we the customers need to be very aware of what they are doing. If this happens to you, report it on; report the company to ICASA and perhaps even try reporting them to the NCC if they decide to rob you. I have had too many friends and family being robbed of thousands by these companies : ALWAYS READ THE FINEPRINT IN THOSE CONTRACTS, and better yet, don’t have a contract cause then they can’t debit you and take what they want from your account.

  • Ash Ramjathan

    My Sister had a Samsung Galaxy Pocket. It doesn’t have LTE, but her data and airtime still dissappeared