Unsolicited messages: NCC tasks operators on ‘Do Not Disturb’ awareness

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it has mandated telecommunication operators to create awareness on the existence of the ‘Do Not Disturb’ (DND) database, which shields subscribers from receiving unsolicited messages or calls.

The regulatory body made this known in its 2015 Q4 Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Reports, obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.

According to the report, the commission had received various complaints from subscribers regarding unsolicited text messages and nuisance calls from Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the industry.

Following these complaints, the telecommunication umpire said it had monitored the networks to ensure that MNOs created a DND database for subscribers who do not want to receive unsolicited messages on their lines.

“The commission’s compliance checks revealed that most MNOs have set up the DND facility on their networks.

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“However, the awareness of existence of this facility is very low, because the MNOs are reluctant to sensitise their subscribers on the availability of this facility and how to opt into same.

“Further investigations suggest that operators are not actually keen on the DND, as this may affect their revenue stream from Value Added Services (VAS).

“The commission has, therefore, commenced the process of issuing a directive that MNOs dedicate a Short Code on their networks.

“The short code will be for use by subscribers to opt-in to the DND database, restricting unsolicited marketing messages (Voice and SMS) on their Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Numbers (MSISDNs),” it said.

The report said that the commission’s activities were consistent with Section 89 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003.

NAN reports that the section mandated NCC to monitor all significant matters relating to the performance of all licensed telecommunication service providers and publish annual reports at the end of each financial year.

It said NCC had developed Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Strategies to prosecute the above mandate and achieve its objective of fair competition, ethical market conduct and optimal quality of service in the Nigerian telecommunications industry.

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