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NCC Gives Telecommunication Providers Directives On Unsolicited Messages

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed all network operators to create a central database which would contain phone numbers of those who have opted-out of advertisements.

The regulatory body added that network operators are to ensure that those whose phone numbers are on the Do-Not-Disturb list receive no advert.

These directives are contained in a recently-released ‘Value Added Services Aggregator Framework,’ which contains guidelines regulating the provision of value-added services in the Nigeria’s telecommunications industry.

“Operators are to establish a central database into which subscribers can deposit/register their phone number for the purpose preventing the reception of any form of advertisement. Operators and aggregators are to ensure that no adverts are sent to any telephone number on the database,” the statement reads.

This must be implemented within six months of the publication of the directive.

On the other hand, operators and content service providers are free to create opt-in database for registration of telephone numbers of subscribers who are not opposed to advertisements.

“Operators are to establish a central database into which subscribers can deposit/register their phone number for the purpose of preventing the reception of any form of advertisement. Operators and aggregators are to ensure that no adverts are sent to any telephone number on the database,” the NCC said.

In addition to these, the NCC directs that all mobile adverts “must be clear, simple and unambiguous”. The adverts must contain all information, including price and duration, required by the subscriber so an informed decision can be made.

Other directives contained in the statement include the separation of subscribers’ prepaid accounts for voice and the SMS services from that used for data and VAS.

Content and applications service providers with VAS licences would be allowed to pool, host and distribute content and applications using their own in-house software and hardware platforms while those without licences would be required to stop operations.

“Those offering services that they are not licensed must wind down within this period. Application for new licences, setting up subsidiaries, installing new infrastructure, technical and procedural alignment of access will also take place during this transition period.”

Document on the directive given by NCC can be found here.



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