- by Sipilisiwe Ncube on 26 Sep 2017by Mirriam Chabala on 26 Sep 2017by Citizen journalist on 26 Sep 2017by Tenson Mkhala on 26 Sep 2017
- Goal Diggers
- by Diggers Reporter on 26 Sep 2017by Tenson Mkhala on 24 Sep 2017by Diggers Reporter on 24 Sep 2017by Diggers Reporter on 21 Sep 2017
- by Mirriam Chabala on 25 Sep 2017by Mukosha Funga on 25 Sep 2017by Mirriam Chabala on 24 Sep 2017by Mirriam Chabala on 23 Sep 2017
- by Diggers Reporter on 26 Sep 2017by Diggers Reporter on 25 Sep 2017by Diggers Reporter on 25 Sep 2017by Mukosha Funga on 24 Sep 2017
- Editor's Choice
- by Chishimba Kambwili on 24 Sep 2017by Diggers Editor on 22 Sep 2017by Elias Munshya on 18 Sep 2017by President Edgar Lungu on 13 Sep 2017
- Guest Diggers
- by Sishuwa Sishuwa on 14 Sep 2017by Guest Digger on 8 Sep 2017by Sishuwa Sishuwa on 3 Sep 2017by Sishuwa Sishuwa on 4 Aug 2017
My Money My Data: Why should Internet bundles expire?By Michael Chishala on 1 Mar 2017
Imagine withdrawing one thousand Kwacha from the bank and keeping it in an envelope at home. A month later, a shop attendant refuses to accept your money for a transaction saying your banknotes are expired. How would you feel? I am sure you would rush to your bank for a colourful exchange of words with the branch manager.
That is exactly the same way I feel when I buy Internet data bundles and they expire before I have exhausted them. How about you? Are you happy to see your data bundles expire while the provider keeps your money without it losing value?
About 15 years ago in the early days of the Cellphone industry, this exact system was used by mobile phone providers. Whenever you bought talk time, it would expire after a designated number of days.
It used to be very infuriating to buy airtime and find it expired on the day you wanted to make that really important phone call. It was impractical to keep track of the expiry date, so sometimes you would be forced to make calls to people you don’t really want to hear from, just to avoid losing your airtime before the expiry date. There was a big public outcry over this and eventually, the practice was abolished, much to the relief of everyone who was privileged enough to own a cellphone.
Unfortunately for all of us, the Zambia Information & Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has been sleeping at the wheel concerning the matter of data bundles. All Internet providers sell data bundles with an expiry date condition.
Why is this retrogressive practice allowed? Why should we be forced to consume our Internet data bundles within a fixed number of days? Why should we be made to go into overdrive watching videos and downloading things a day before the bundle expires? Why should we lose Gigabytes and Gigabytes of data and money to Internet providers? Just like airtime credit, Internet Data bundles must never expire!
The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange, a unit of account or store of value. That means that any item or verifiable received as a purchase must carry the same value of the quantity of currency used in the exchange. Therefore if cash is kept unused, deliberately or otherwise, for a month, it can not lose its value. Data bundles are money. We pay good money for Internet data and we deserve to consume it whenever, wherever and however we want. It was a fair exchange of value for value.
Whichever way you look at it, the whole practice is unacceptable and feels like theft because Internet service providers happily get our money upfront but oftentimes do not give us the full value of our cash. Any left over data from an expired Internet bundle has a monetary value. We should not allow the Internet service providers to reach into our pockets and get our money.
If the logic of expiring talk time was accepted by everyone, why doesn’t the same logic apply to data? We should be free to use the data as and when we want because it costs nothing for the Internet providers to remove the expiry dates. It costs them nothing even if someone uses their bundle over 6 months. Everything is controlled by automated software.
I call upon ZICTA and the rest of my fellow Zambians to stand up and join the campaign against this abuse by Internet service providers. We cannot accept the explanation that this is a global practice; why can’t Zambia take the lead for once and stop this?
It is #MyMoneyMyData
About Michael Chishala
Michael Chishala is a Zambian blogger, Engineer and ICT Specialist in web and database programming.
Email: michael [at] zambia [dot] co [dot] zm.
- David Wightman is wrong about death penalty - 6 May 2017
- Vodafone’s Declining Service Delivery - 9 Mar 2017
- My Money My Data: Why should Internet bundles expire? - 1 Mar 2017
- Reeves Malambo’s wound was at least 25cm deep – Witness
- Katanga explains Ndola riot: Police were pursuing car thief
- Kalaba hails Millennium Challenge Account, USAID to Zambia
- Protests at Parliament will go ahead on Friday, with or without police permit – Miti
- Riots in Ndola after high speed police chase kills vendor
Subscribe for email alerts
Weekly Most Digged
- «September 2017»
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
The News Diggers
Plot No. Lus/9812/649-MC8
off Alex Chola Road
P.O. Box 32147
Telephone or WhatsApp:
+26-097-7708285, 095-3424603, 096-5815078
diggers [at] diggers [dot] news
editor [at] diggers [dot] news
Send this to a friend