CapeTalk's John Maytham received numerous messages last week about MTN data disappearing from phones.
My Broadband's Jan Vermeulen conducted an experiment to see if there was any truth to the claims.
He explains that they bought a Sim card from each of the four major network operators and put them into identical Samsung Galaxy S7s.
Vermeulen says they made sure the mobile data was off and connected them to Wi-Fi, plugged in the Sims and watched what happened to the airtime.
Everywhere the air time stayed rock solid, except on MTN where it slowly ticked down.— Jan Vermeulen, senior journalist at MyBroadband.co.za
And just to be certain, they repeated the experiment on a different phone model and got exactly the same result.
MTN was asked for comment and it explained that LTE is a data-only network and MTN charges users to connect to the signalling traffic.
Vermeulen says that warrants further investigation.
MTN says they will adjust their tariffs in line with competitors.
Basically, that is where the money is going....and MTN said they did not realise their competitors were not charging for this and so they are going to fix it within the next 30 days.— Jan Vermeulen, senior journalist at MyBroadband.co.za
He says they have no idea how long this has been going on for.
Take a listen:
“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.”
And as to the charges incurred...
“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.”