After ongoing speculation that data may be ‘disappearing’, the team at Mybroadband conducted an investigation – and the results are upsetting if you’re an MTN subscriber.?
The team bought and registered four new SIM cards from Vodacom, MTN, Telkom and Cell C and loaded each of them with airtime. On 11 July, the balances on the sim cards were: Vodacom R12, MTN R10, Telkom R10 and Cell C R10.
All of the phones (Samsung S7s) were connected to the same WiFi network and the mobile data option turned off. The option allowing for switching between data and WiFi was also disabled to ensure that the phones would not be able to connect to mobile data during the investigation.
The phones were kept on but not used for activities that use data or airtime for 11 days.
‘What happened during the test truly surprised us,’ reports MyBroadband. ‘While the airtime balances on the Vodacom, Telkom and Cell C SIMs remained the same throughout the test, the airtime balance on the MTN SIM steadily decreased.’
While the balance on the phones loaded with Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom remained the same, by the end of the test the balance on the phone registered that MTN dropped to R4,60 after 11 days.
When MyBroadband confronted MTN with the evidence, the network didn’t deny the claims and said that the data usage was due to the the device trying to establish a LTE connection.
‘MTN would like to note that even though data was switched off, the smart devices used in the test were connecting to the LTE network, this is how LTE works,’ MTN told MyBroadband.
After informing MTN that no other network in SA charges for LTE sessions, they responded by saying: ‘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.’
As a MTN subscriber myself, I feel robbed. It’s pretty upsetting that this has been happening but even more so that they’re only addressing the practice now that they’ve been confronted with hard evidence.
Have you noticed your data disappearing, guys? Tweet us at @CosmopolitanSA.