MTN Set To Pay R5 Million For Tripling WhatsApp Bundle Costs. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has fined MTN for pricing their WhatsApp bundles by three times more.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has fined MTN for pricing their WhatsApp bundles by three times more. The service provider is set to pay R5 million. In 2018, MTN introduced the 1GB WhatsApp bundle that would cost people R10.
According to Business Day, the executive of corporate affairs at MTN in South Africa, Jacqui O’Sullivan says that the initiation concluded in the use of WhatsApp using the service provider rising by about 300% within a space of eight weeks. The Complaints and Compliance Committee in the ICASA says the service breached the regulations and brought issues to its door step. It was found that MTN was wrong in launching the R10 for 1GB deal.
The regulator says, “The finding of the CCC is that MTN was in grave error by introducing the R10 deal.” The R10 WhatsApp bundle had concluded in a risen influx from consumers, coercing the service provider to put in R200 million to increase the size of its network. The service provider told the ICASA that it was attempting to the prices to decrease the pressure and demand of their 3G network. Jacqui O’Sullivan says, “An unintended consequence of the low-priced WhatsApp data has been an extraordinary increase in demand on MTN’s 3G network.”
18 June 2018, the service provider told the ICASA they wanted to increase the cost of the WhatsApp bundle from R10 to R20. However, the service provider decided to delay the adjustment in hopes that the organisation’s that they could better the network to work with the risen influx. The service provider’s plan failed, so on the 12th of July the service provider told the ICASA that a higher price was to be implemented in order to lower the pressure and demand of the 3G service.
Godfrey Motsa, the CEO of MTN South Africa, also issued a letter to ICASA asking them to be a bit lenient, also stating that the service provider can’t wait seven days to issue the cost adjustment. The cost was adjusted on the 16th of July, it didn’t get a letter from ICASA at the time according to the executive of corporate affair at MTN. The service provider will plead the decision of ICASA in high court.
by Alexandra Ramaite