By Emmanuel Elebeke,
LAGOS—Telecom regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has warned all operators in the country to activate the Do-Not-Disturb facility to protect subscribers from the barrage of unsolicited text messages and calls from their services.
Director, Public Affairs in the commission, Mr. Tony Ojobo, who sounded the warning, stated that in spite of earlier warnings to telecommunication service providers to activate their Do-Not-Disturb facility, which gave subscribers the freedom to choose the messages they received, the commission was still inundated with complaints by subscribers of continuing text harassment by operators.
He explained that the direction by the commission mandated the operators to take immediate action, which would allow the subscribers to take informed but independent decisions on what messages to receive from the networks.
The NCC had earlier directed all telecom operators in the country to activate the 2442 Do Not Disturb Short Code, beginning from July 1, 2016.
He observed that industry compliance didn’t seem to have matched the seriousness of the direction, adding that this compelled the commission to issue a final warning to the operators.
Ojobo reiterated the commission’s readiness to protect subscribers from the nuisance and irritations of unsolicited text messages and calls from mobile network operators.
He said: “The direction takes into cognizance the broad range of services, including 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 messages from the operators at all,” he said.
He listed the various options of the code as: “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.”
He called on the service providers to urgently comply with the direction as further complaints from the subscribers would be taken as serious infractions to a major regulatory intervention by the commission.