The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria has called on the Nigerian Communications Commission to find a lasting solution to the issue of unsolicited Short Messaging Service.
The Chairman of ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, gave the advice in a statement obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Lagos.
The statement said the regulatory body should clearly spell out the “dos” and “don’ts” of unsolicited messages, to keep the service providers on their toes.
It said most of the unsolicited messages received by telecoms consumers were actually sent by the Value Added Service providers.
According to the statement, the telecoms umpire must come hard on all the players, both the telecoms operators as well as the VAS providers.
It said: “There are many ways through which the issue of unsolicited text messages flow; one of such is through the internet, which is an open platform that is not regulated.
“This is because once those who send those messages have access to your phone number, they can go on the internet portal and pump messages to you.
“The other is those who are providing value added services, who are called the secondary operators and they work and ride on the platforms of the service providers, to deliver their services.
“It is easy to regulate them because you can sign to a code of conduct, you can sign to a code of performance, you can sign to a code of satisfaction.
“The Value Added Providers are the major culprits on this issue of unsolicited messages and they need to have very strict regulatory supervision, without which it might be difficult to regulate their platform.”
The association, therefore, urged consumers to protect themselves by not giving out their numbers to anyone.
The statement noted in essence that a telephone number is an identity and a means of access, so consumers must limit its circulation in order to protect themselves from unsolicited messages.
It also urged telecoms subscribers to ensure that where they had complaints and grievances, they must continue to press and push, until they were resolved.