Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE has asked Etisalat and du – two leading mobile operators — to discontinue offering pay-per-use data plans.
The TRA said operators can only offer pay-per-use data plans to customers who explicitly request the service. The move is aimed at protecting mobile data subscribers from excessive charges of the service.
The service used to be automatically activated by simply inserting the SIM card in the mobile device, resulting into increase of charges and loss of balance.
Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, director general of TRA, said the move will now give subscribers more freedom and flexibility in selecting the services they desire.
TRAI said the decision is part of the UAE’s preparations for the launch of 5G services, artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT).
Etisalat sent a message to users on Saturday confirming that the pay-as-go service has been blocked.
TRA three months back announced a new regulatory framework for early termination fees for telecom service contracts.
Under the amendment, operators can only charge consumers the fee for one month for early termination of services.
Previously, the TRA allowed the operators to charge the monthly fee multiplied by the number of the contract’s remaining months.
“These amendments have been already introduced to the new contracts for mobile phone services, and TRA will apply these amendments to other service contracts in the coming period,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, another regulation from TRAI had assisted mobile phone users in the UAE from paying steep termination fees for ending their contracts early with telecom operators Etisalat or du.
TRA announced that the operators can only charge consumers the fee for one month for early termination of services. Previously, the TRA allowed the operators to charge the monthly fee multiplied by the number of the contract’s remaining months.