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NCA to sanction mobile service providers for unsolicited messages, calls

BY: Jasmine Arku
The NCA says it will sanction any service provider who fail to adhere to the directive
The NCA says it will sanction any service provider who fail to adhere to the directive

The National Communications Authority (NCA) has directed all mobile network operators (MNOs), value added service providers (VASPs) and content aggregators to desist from sending unsolicited messages and calls to consumers.

Consequently, the NCA says it will sanction any service provider who fails to adhere to the directive.

The Authority has therefore urged the public to report to their service provider any received messages not consented to.

Accordingly, the NCA says it is is looking at developing a do-not-text/call (DNT/C) portal for subscribers to report and submit details of such complaints.

"The portal, when deployed, will allow consumers to input details of infringements so MN0s, who will be connected with it, can take the needed action. Details of the ONT/C will be announced later,” it said in an advertorial published in the Tuesday, February 1, 2022 edition of the Daily Graphic.

According to the Authority, it had noted with great concern complaints about the spate of unwanted calls and text messages sent to consumers.

It advised service providers to ensure that subscriptions to such services are a two-step process, adding that, there must be retention of the proof of consent from consumers.

The NCA said it had earlier directed the MNOs, VASPs and content aggregators to cease all auto/unconsented subscriptions of consumers and to curtail the transmission of all UECs and other marketing messages immediately.

“Prior to this directive, the NCA in collaboration with the Data Protection Commission had taken some measures to ensure that Advertisers/MNO, VASPs and Content Aggregators transmit Electronic Communications to only consumers who have consent to the service,” it said.

The NCA further urged the public to be cautious when sharing telephone numbers with strangers and at public events where there is no disclaimer notice openly published with regard to data/information protection.

How to deactivate unsolicited messages

For MTN subscribers, dial *175#. Select 1. My Subscriptions. You will see the list of subscriptions and an option which says Unsubscribe All. If you want to unsubscribe from all select the option. Otherwise you select the one you want to unsubscribe and follow the prompts. Then you repeat the process for each of them.

For Airtel/Tigo users, dial *100#. Select 4, Content Manager. Select Deactivate Subscriptions. It will take you to the hidden Subscriptions and then you select the one you want to deactivate and follow the prompts.

For Vodafone users, dial *463#. Select 1 My Subscriptions. Select 1 View Subscriptions. Out of the list of subscriptions you see select 1 and Send. You will see 1 Check Price and 2 Unsubscribe. Select 2 Unsubscribe and follow the prompts.