Data Must Fall timeline

Data Must Fall timeline


The Data Must Fall campaign has had high's and lows. From protesting outside the high court, completing ICASA's submissions, the slashing of the out-of-bundle rates by Vodacom in October 2017, the ICASA end-user regulations implemented and the Competition Commission's ruling on mobile network operators dropping data prices by 30% to 50%. Below is is a full timeline of the Data Must Fall Campaign. 

2016: Growing concerns from the public about the high cost of data spark the beginning of the Data Must Fall campaign [1].

February 2017: President Jacob Zuma states that reducing the cost of data is a key priority.

July 2017: The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) begins a review of the 'End-User and Subscriber Charter', regulations meant to protect consumers from pick-pocketing by mobile network operators.   

August 2017: Public outcry and concerns from the Minister of Economic Development lead to the Competition Commission initiating a 'Data Market Services Inquiry' to understand the reason for high data prices and to make appropriate recommendations to address concerns, by ensuring that prices are ultimately lowered and ensure the market is competitive. 

The Icasa inquiry is due to be completed by March 2018 while the Competition Commission will be done by August 2018.

February 2019: ICASA and Mobile network operators reach a settlement at the Johannesburg high court. The end-user regulations are set to be implemented by the network operators. This means that consumers will not lose unused data and have the choice to opt-in and out of bundle rates.

July 2019: Current minister of communications and digital technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams publishes the Policy on High Demand *Spectrum and Policy Direction of the Licensing of *Woan.

December 2019: ICASA seeks public comments and submissions to conduct a Regulatory Impact Assessment on the end-user Subscriber Service Charter regulations which came into force in February 2019. The purpose of this assessment is to check on whether mobile network operators are complying with the regulations.

December 2019: The Competition Commission releases its final report of the data services market inquiry. One of the inquiry’s major recommendations is for Vodacom and MTN to drop the prices of data by 30% to 50% by the 1st of Feb 2020.

January 2020: ICASA’s deadline for the Regulatory Impact Assessment on the end-user regulations. The assessment process begins.

February 2020: The Competition Commission extends the deadline for mobile network providers to comply with recommendations to the 1st of March 2020.



*Spectrum is the airwaves our cellphones use to send information, which is regulated and will be allocated by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA)

*Wireless Open Access Network

[1] Sign the campaign #DataMustFall: