Where’s my data?

Grocott's Mail - - YOUR SAY -

"Data”has be­come so ubiq­ui­tous in South Africa that it’s ar­guably more cov­eted than dates. Un­less of course one is top­ping up "data" to find, er, you know…

By data, we don’t mean in­for­ma­tion stored on your com­puter. Rather a ser­vice that al­lows you to ac­cess the in­ter­net via net­works such as 3G, 4G, or LTE (Long Term Evo­lu­tion).

Data is so pre­cious that South African cell­phone com­pa­nies were re­cently ac­cused by ICASA (the In­de­pen­dent Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Author­ity of South Africa) of be­ing ex­tor­tion­ists. ICASA of­fi­cials told par­lia­ment ear­lier this month that SA’s data fees were ex­tremely high, un­ac­cept­able, and af­ford­able to most South Africans.

In sim­ple English, a cell­phone com­pany has what they call in-bun­dle and outof-bun­dle data charges. Your R30 can for ex­am­ple buy you a 100MB data bun­dle; while us­ing your air­time to log on to the in­ter­net (call that the outof-bun­dle rate), will be about dou­ble.

The tech­ni­cal mum­bo­jumbo aside, we should all worry about what Euro­peans and North Amer­i­cans call the Nanny State - a phrase that speaks for it­self.

This writer is con­vinced that con­sumers are in­fan­tilised by reg­u­la­tions that for ex­am­ple, un­fairly force MTN or Vo­da­com to go easy on their cus­tomers, when all we need is more com­pe­ti­tion among ser­vice providers.

• Sim­be­lievesthat­i­fy­ou­play in­Cap­i­tal­ism,youmust­playby


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