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Telecoms banned from sending junk SMS

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th June 2014 02:00 PM

All new telecom promotions have been suspended in a move aimed at improving quality of service and experience.

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By David Mugabe

KAMPALA - All new telecom promotions have been suspended in a move aimed at improving quality of service and experience.

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) public relations officer, Isaac Kalembe, explained that the decision was made after an outcry from the public about unsolicited SMS.

“Sometimes, subscribers’ money is deducted after they have received an unsolicited SMS. When complaints are raised, the service providers promise to end the sending of SMS, but they do not,” said Kalembe on Friday.

He disclosed that customers were complaining most about unsolicited messages.

UCC executive director Godfrey Mutabaazi said the ban would be reviewed only after the service providers comply with the conditions set for them.

Private ICT analysts have explained that service providers were exploiting a loophole in the law that allows telecoms to send messages to subscribers as an agreed terms of service when they buy SIMcards.

This is compounded by a largely ignorant public and a Parliament that have not studied the loophole and, therefore, cannot reign in on the telecoms, despite a huge public outcry.

“So, last week, we wrote to them giving them June 6 as the deadline for them to put their houses in order,” said Kalembe

“We want to plug all the gaps in the existing laws. We have drafted guidelines that we have been discussing with them (telecoms),” said Kalembe.

UCC has demanded that operators must put in place an operational and sustainable mechanism acceptable to UCC to ensure that consumers are not subjected to mobile spam as defined under the UCC Guidelines on content, services and applications.


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