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Nigerian Communications Commission toughens up on mobile spam

Nigeria , 18 Jul 2016

Nigerian Communications Commission toughens up on mobile spam

Etisalat subscribers in Nigeria can opt out of unsolicited messages being sent by the network and marketers by engaging the network's Do Not Disturb (DND) database, as mandated by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

According to an edict issued by the NCC's legal and regulatory services department, all operators in the country have to establish Do Not Disturb (DND) portals on their networks, to be accessed at no charge to the subscriber who can make use of either full or partial opt-ins and opt-outs.

Operators must also make subscribers aware of the availability of the DND option, as well as comply with reporting templates. They are also only allowed to engage subscribers who choose not to opt out between 8am and 8pm.

Non-compliance with these directive could result in a NGN5-million fine.

Deolu Ogunbanjo, head of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), said, "The telecommunications companies do not respect subscribers 'rights to privacy and choice', and that is why they just sent endless unsolicited Short Messaging Services (SMS), which are designed to eventually deplete the subscriber's credit. However, in view of the fact that there are over 150 million telecommunications customers in Nigeria, we must expect as many as 30 million to 60 million complaints from them against the telecommunications companies."

Ikenna Ikeme, Director, Regulatory and Corporate Social Responsibility, Etisalat Nigeria, said the company is committed towards enhancing customer experience on its network.

"Ensuring that the DND service is available on our network is one of the ways in which we continue to enhance our bouquet of services and enrich customer experience."

Etisalat subscriber Ayo Akanji said, "This development was long overdue as many of us were beginning to think maybe NCC was conniving with the telcos and is sharing the revenue with them because it kept silent all the time subscribers were yearning for the unsolicited messages to stop."

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