10 million subscribers activate Do-Not-Disturb code

The Nigerian Communications Commission says about 10 million subscribers have activated the Do-Not-Disturb code made available by the agency.

10 million subscribers activate Do-Not-Disturb code

The Do-Not-Disturb service allows network subscribers to opt out of unsolicited third-party marketing messages such as bulk Short Message Service, Value Added Service promos and calls.

Speaking at the fifth meeting of the National Council of Communications and Information Technology in Katsina, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said only 500,000 telecom subscribers had activated the NCC’s 2442 short code to stop telemarketing and other unsolicited text messages on their phones before the commencement of the campaign.

The EVC also said the regulatory body would review the implementation of the consumer initiative project next year in order to decide the next line of action.

“We embarked on the campaign specifically with regard to two important issues. One is, Do-Not-Disturb facility as we had received a lot of complaints that many consumers received unsolicited text messages and for which they were unfairly being charged. We dedicated a facility that will stop those messages from coming to the handsets of the consumers,” he told dignitaries at the event including the Minister Communications,  Adebayo Shittu, and the Katsina State Deputy Governor, Mannir Yakubu.

Danbatta said, “We have been sensitising consumers to take advantage of this facility by sending STOP to 2442. Prior to the commencement of the campaign, less than 500,000 Nigerians activated the code; as I am talking to you now, close to 10 million Nigerians have activated it.”

He said the other component of the campaign was to sensitise Nigerians to the existence of the NCC’s toll-free line, 622, which consumers could use to lodge complaints with regard to quality of service and other related services.

“There’s also another important aspect of the campaign, educating the consumers on the existence of emergency call centres. One is being constructed in each state of the federation in order to provide reprieve to people in distress; those who require ambulance service, fire-fighting services; and those in need of attention from the police, using another toll-free line, 112,” he said.

In the commission’s newly released Value Added Services Aggregator Framework, all network operators have been asked to protect subscribers from unwanted and unauthorised value added services and made it mandatory for them to create a database for phone numbers of subscribers on the Do-Not-Disturb list.

The regulator said operators and aggregators should ensure that no adverts were sent to the telephone numbers on the database.

On the other hand, the commission said operators and content service providers were free to create opt-in database for registration of telephone numbers of subscribers who were not opposed to advertisements.


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