Tel­cos told to call time out on nui­sance calls, texts

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

Nui­sance mes­sages and calls to mo­bile phone users have at­tracted the at­ten­tion of the tele­com reg­u­la­tor fol­low­ing nu­mer­ous pub­lic com­plaints.

The Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion of Sri Lanka has is­sued guide­lines to tele­com ser­vices providers on pro­mo­tional mes­sages and au­to­mated calls gen­er­ated by ex­ter­nal par­ties, a se­nior of­fi­cial said.

The of­fi­cial told the Sun­day Times that all tel­cos have agreed to com­ply with the guide­lines.

He said the reg­u­la­tor has re­ceived a “fair num­ber of com­plaints” from mo­bile tele­phone users who re­ceive un­so­licited texts and calls from third par­ties. Most are pro­mo­tional mes­sages for prod­ucts and ser­vices.

There are five main mo­bile ser­vices op­er­a­tors in the coun­try and more than 28 mil­lion sub­scribers.

In June, the reg­u­la­tor wrote to all tel­cos to com­ply with clauses on send­ing bulk mes­sages.

Bulk SMS cus­tomers have been asked to re­frain from send­ing pro­mo­tional text mes­sages with­out the consent of mo­bile users.

Tele­com op­er­a­tors have been in­structed to main­tain a list of ports that are au­tho­rized to gen­er­ate pro­mo­tional mes­sages and to en­sure that all mes­sages trans­mit­ted would be with the consent of reg­is­tered sub­scribers.

Tele­com op­er­a­tors have also been told to pub­lish in­for­ma­tion on meth­ods of block­ing pro­mo­tional mes­sages gen­er­ated by a par­tic­u­lar port free of charge.

Mean­while, the reg­u­la­tor be­gan a pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign this week urg­ing peo­ple to not re­dial un­known num­bers from in­ter­na­tional par­ties fol­low­ing missed calls. Those who re­dial such num­bers in­cur heavy charges to their dis­may.

"Some groups from cer­tain coun­tries are mis­lead­ing in this man­ner to in­duce lo­cal sub­scribers to re­turn such calls," a pub­lic no­tice is­sued by the depart­ment read.

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