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NCC issues final warning to telecoms operators over unsolicited SMS

By on September 13, 2016

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a final warning to telecommunication operators who still send unsolicited text messages (SMS) to its customers.

In a statement by its Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, the commission reiterated its readiness to protect subscribers from the nuisance and irritations of unsolicited text messages and calls from mobile network operators.

Ojobo, according to an online news portal,TheCable, noted that in spite of earlier warnings to telecommunication service providers to activate their Do-Not-Disturb facility, which gives subscribers the freedom to choose the messages they receive, the commission is still inundated with complaints by subscribers of continuing text harassment by operators.

The direction issued to industry operators to activate the 2442 Do-Not-Disturb short code took effect from July 1, 2016, but has largely ignored.

Ojobo explained that the direction mandates the operators to take immediate action, which will allow the subscribers to take informed but independent decisions on what messages to receive from the networks.

“Industry compliance doesn’t seem to have matched the seriousness of the direction thus, compelling the commission to issue a final warning to the operators,” he said.

“The direction takes into cognisance the broad range of services, which include: banking/insurance/financial products, real estate, education, health, consumer goods and automobiles, communication/ broadcasting/entertainment/ it, tourism and /leisure, sports, religion (Christianity, Islam, others), and directed the operators to give the necessary instructions and clarifications that will enable subscribers subscribe to a particular service/services/none at all.

“In fact, a Full DND which is SMS “STOP” to 2442 does not allow the subscriber to receive any unsolicited message from the operators at all.”

Below are the various options: “SMS 1” for receiving SMS relating to banking? insurance/ financial products to 2442; “SMS 2” for receiving SMS relating to real Estate to 2442 “SMS 3” for receiving SMS relating to Education to 2442; “SMS 4” for receiving SMS relating to Health to 2442; “SMS 5” for receiving SMS relating to Consumer goods and Automobiles to 2442”; “SMS 6” for receiving SMS relating to communication/ broadcasting entertainment/IT to 2442; “SMS 7” for receiving SMS relating to Tourism and leisure to 2442; “SMS 8” for receiving SMS relating to Sports to 2442; “SMS 9” for receiving SMS relating to Religion to 2442.

Ojobo called on the service providers to immediately comply with the Direction as further complaints from the subscribers would be taken as serious infractions to a major regulatory intervention by the commission.