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UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority puts a cap on mobile data bundles

posted on 02/06/2016: 1987 views

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE on Wednesday issued a directive ordering etisalat and du to put a ceiling or hard cap on their respective mobile data bundles in a bid to protect consumers from unwittingly incurring disproportionately higher additional charges.

Directive (1) of 2016 applies to all mobile data bundles, whether included as part of the main subscription or purchased as an optional add-on.

The directive obligates the operators to limit the supply of mobile data to the size of the bundle. Once the bundle is exhausted, the licensee cannot supply any further mobile data unless the consumer gives express consent.

The TRA released its directive after identifying several factors that could result in consumers being subjected to disproportionately higher over-bundle rates as in most cases, they are not aware of the costs incurred from out-of-bundle rates or the additional charges made once their bundles are used up.

The directive serves as a safety net to protect mobile data subscribers from what the TRA calls ‘bill shock'. This comes within the TRA's jurisdiction to protect consumer interests and continuously enhance the services in the UAE's telecommunications sector in accordance with the directives of the country's leaders.

"We are concerned with the potential for consumers to receive larger-than-expected charges for their out-of-bundle mobile data usage. We acknowledge that both etisalat and du have provided various tools to enable their customers to monitor their data usage and manage their costs. However, we note that not all consumers use such tools. It is also inherently difficult to estimate how much data is actually being consumed while, for example, browsing the internet or sending emails,” Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, TRA director-General, said in a statement.

He said that consumers may not be aware of the actual costs associated with such mobile data use and this could lead to "bill shock”.

"We aim to address the issue once and for all through this new directive,” he added. – Gulf News -


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