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MTN Brushes Off “Data Disappearance” Debacle

Author: Melissa Cohen
Date: 2017-08-04
Is your data running out awfully quickly even though you’re on WiFi most of the time? MTN responds to disappearing data. Read here.
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

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.
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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?
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