Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has decided to control over the criminal, unethical and spam calls on the network of telecom networks with proper check and balance and proper mechanism aimed at protecting consumers from unwanted communications.
The authority has issued a draft regulation with revision and amendments of clauses in “Protection from Spam, Unsolicited, Fraudulent, and Obnoxious Communications Regulations 2012 in order to receive feedback from all stakeholders of the industry.
All telecom operator should be implemented the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for curbing unwanted and obnoxious communication on their network, PTA said.
In the result of fraudulent communication, if balance is transferred, the subscription of the originator shall be terminated along with IMEI number of the handset. In addition, the operator shall take all reasonable steps to refund the amount to complainant.
Besides the telecom operators shall be asked to closely monitor communication and keep on eye on the fraudulent communication on their networks. The users involved in fraudulent and repeated fraudulent should be mentioned in blacklist and grey list and provided their data or record to the authority time to time. The subscriptions of telephone users generating spam calls and SMSes shall be suspended by all telecom operators on receipt of complaints and maintained a monthly backlist of all violators for updating about them to the authority.
The subscription of spam producers could be restored by the authority on the provision of written undertaking of the users or originator, the proposed regulation stated.
All operators shall set up procedures for registration of subscribers in the Do Not Call Register (DNCR) in accordance with the timelines determined by the authority.
The operators should maintain data of DNCR including name, number and area code of subscribers who does not ant to receive unsolicited communications. They should update the DNCR within two working days of the request received from the subscribers.
PTA regulation suggested that operators shall set up a round the clock complaint handling mechanism for subscribers in accordance with timelines determined by the authority.
Operators shall acknowledge every complaint by subscribers with a unique complaint number. The originator shall immediately but not later than 24 hours of receipt of complaints shall be issued a warning.
All operators shall provide complete information to authority regarding the particulars of subscribers, registered telemarketers, spamming and fraudulent, unsolicited communication details related to complaints. All operators shall sign a service level agreement with telemarketers having a valid short code allocated by the authority therefore the unsolicited communication will be controlled. Under the proposed regulations, PTA said that operators should install intelligent and robust anti-spam solutions to cater effective filtering of spam on regular basis. However, anti-spam filter shall not violate consumers’ privacy.