MTN, GLO, Others To Face NCC Sanction Over Unsolicited Messages

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed all telecommunication operating companies in the country to ultimatum to comply with the directive of ‘Do Not Disturb’ (DND), issued by the body earlier in the year.

The NCC had on April 20th, mandated the four major telecom operators, MTN, Glo, Etisalat, Airtel, and seven others to dedicate a common Short Code (2442) which will give subscribers the option to be sent unsolicited SMS if they choose.

However, the communication body said on Monday that the companies have failed to heed to the DND directive.

In a statement, issued by the commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr Tony Ojobo, the NCC said the 13 network operators risked “severe sanctions by the commission” if unsolicited SMSs were not discontinued within one week, starting from Monday, November 14.

The statement read: “The commission has engaged mobile network operators on this subject. 13 network operators risk severe sanctions by the commission.

“The network operators are Airtel Network Ltd., MTN Nigeria, Globacom Nigeria, Smile Communication, Visafone Comm unications, Ntel, Etisalat, Multi links, Starcomms, Danjay Telecoms, Gamjitel Ltd. and Gicell wireless.

They are however given another one-week ultimatum from Monday, Nov. 14, to remedy the situation or face the sanctions enshrined in the directive.

“Worried by the non-compliance by the operators occasioned by deluge of complaints by subscribers across Nigeria, the NCC inaugurated an eight-member committee to look into the matter.

“After several meetings, including those it held with the network providers, it became necessary to issue the latest ultimatum to redress the menace of incessant unsolicited text messages and phone calls for telemarketing via the various networks.

“With respect to only information on emergencies for example, national security, fire notifications on network maintenance programmes down times and notification regarding subscribers bundle usage and service renewals. Other text messages and voice calls informing subscribers of new products and service offerings are not regarded as network generated and therefore regarded as unsolicited marketing messages.

“The NCC has therefore asked these network providers to ensure that information on the Do Not Disturb service should be disseminated after every revenue generating activity via the End of Call Notification (EOCN) for the period not less than 45 days within the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from the receipt of the latest letter on the subject.

“The operators are also admonished to deploy this information through all their channels of communications, including websites, social media platforms, bill boards, flash messages, text messages, Interactive Voice Response platform, radio jingles, newspapers advertisements and television commercials.”