Papua New Guinea’s communications minister Sam Basil has directed the nation’s mobile network operators (MNOs) to alert subscribers when they exceed their data usage allowances, The National reports. Mr Basil says the move will enable customers to consider how they might manage their data allowances without unknowingly using up other existing credit. ‘This is stealing. It is a must that all mobile network companies must provide data usage alerts so that customers are notified,’ he said. The minister has also claimed that MNOs were making millions by not providing alerts, as when the data bundles are exhausted, the companies immediately use up customers’ credits. He said it was particularly a concern for subscribers living in remote areas of the country for whom such credit may be needed in case of an emergency.
According to the minister, the government may consider action against operators should they not put the recommended alerts into place, though no specific details regarding these plans were mentioned. However, Mr Basil did also suggest that another way to address the issue could be the introduction of more competition via a new cellco, noting: ‘The more game players we have, the more compatible services we will receive.’