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MTN, Airtel, others to face NCC sanctions over unsolicited tele-marketing

By The Citizen

MTN, Airtel and other telecom companies may face sanctions for failing to comply with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directive on the Do Not Disturb (DND) directives, issued to them on April 20, 2016.

A total of 13 network operators risk severe sanctions by the Commission.

They are however given another one-week
ultimatum from Monday, November 14, 2016 to remedy the situation or face the sanctions enshrined in the directive.

Worried by the non-compliance by the operators occasioned by a deluge of complaints by subscribers across Nigeria,

the NCC inaugurated an eight - member committee to look into the matter.

After several meetings, including those it held
with the network providers, it became necessary to issue the latest ultimatum to redress the menace of incessant unsolicited text messages and phone calls for telemarketing via the various networks, a statement by the NCC Director, Public

Affairs, Mr Tony Ojobo said.
The network operators, include Airtel Network
Limited, MTN Nigeria, Globacom Nigeria, Smile Communication, Visafone Communications, Ntel, Etisalat, Multi links,

Starcomms, Danjay Telecoms, Gamjitel Limited and Gicell wireless.

The NCC has written to all 13 networks providers on whose networks it  has received  series of complaints from subscribers regarding the efficacy of the Do Not Disturb(DND) service.

The statement said that the Commission had
engaged mobile network operators on this subject and further directs that: the phrase Network generated SMS’ referred to part(d) of the duration issued on April 20, 2016 to  network providers shall be taken to mean: messages and calls with respect to only: information on emergencies for example,

national security, fire;.Notifications on network
maintenance programmes down times and.
Notification regarding subscribers bundle usage and service renewals.

Other text messages and voice calls informing
subscribers of new products and service offerings are not regarded as network generated and therefore regarded as “unsolicited marketing messages”.

The NCC has therefore asked these network
providers to ensure that information on the Do Not Disturb service should be disseminated after every revenue generating activity via the End of Call Notification (EOCN) for the period not less than 45 days within the hours of 8am to 8 pm daily from the receipt of the latest letter on the subject.

The operators are also admonished to deploy this information through all their channels of

communications, including websites, social media platforms, bill boards,flash messages, text messages, Interactive Voice

Response platform, radio jingles, newspapers advertisements and television commercials.

The statement said that this notice serves as a pre-enforcement notice and “Failure to comply with the directives, in furtherance of the Direction of April 20, 2016, within seven days from November 14, 2016 shall result in the imposition of appropriate sanctions”.

The menace of unsolicited text messages has been a nightmare to several millions of subscribers and the Commission can no longer accept anyexcuses whatsoever from the network providers, Ojobo said in the statement.