The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) are tasked with regulating the mobile services market in South Africa, which means that the organisation deals with SMS spam from its members.
The WASPA Code of Conduct prohibits its members from sending SMS spam, but many SMS spammers use ‘grey’ international SMS routes to deliver spam messages and hence bypass WASPA’s jurisdiction.
The mobile operators plug these ‘grey’ routes as soon as they see lots of spam coming through these channels, but it is an ongoing battle which is not easily won.
SMS spam is a serious problem for legitimate WASPs who warn that SMS spam can hurt the medium as a trusted source for legitimate business communications.
WASPA said that it is committed to addressing the issue of mobile spam to ensure that “South African consumers will feel confident interacting with the kind of mobile content and applications provided by WASPA members, safe in the knowledge that they will not become victims of random SMS spam”.
WASPA encourages consumers to lodge complaints on the WASPA website if they receive SMS spam. “The WASPA Code of Conduct is regularly fine-tuned to ensure errant members are quickly brought to book,” the industry body said.
SMS spammers fined
According to the WASPA website, the organizations handled 15 complaints to date. A ruling on 4 of these complaints is pending while 3 other complaints were dismissed.
The companies which were found guilty of unsolicited messaging (aka SMS spam) are as follows.
|WASPA Member||Service description||Result||Fines||Fines Status|
|Viamedia||Unsolicited commercial communications||Complaint partially upheld||R 10,000.00||Paid|
|Viamedia||Unsolicited message||Complaint upheld||R10,000.00||Paid|
|Peach Mobile||Unsolicited SMS||Complaint partially upheld||R10,000.00||Unpaid|
|Smartcall Technology Solutions||Unsolicited sms, adult chat, subscription service||Complaint upheld||R15,000.00||Paid|
|Smartcall Technology Solutions||Unsolicited sms, adult chat, subscription service||Complaint upheld||R10,000.00||Paid|
|Opera Interactive||Unsolicited WAP, subscription service||Complaint partially upheld||R6,000.00||Paid|
|MTN Internal WASP Service (IWS)||Unsolicited sms||Complaint upheld||R3,000.00||Paid|
|Integrat||Unsolicited sms||Complaint upheld||R80,000.00||Paid|