MTN Uganda has been charged with a Shs 5 billion fine by the Uganda Communications Commission for non compliance to the commission’s directives for sending unsolicited messages from certain short codes to subscribers.
This was announced by the acting director for broadcasting, Mr Fred Otunnu.
Otunnu explained that, “The Commission has established that MTN Uganda has repeatedly defied Commission directive to desist from using short codes 157,169,178 and 183 accordingly, breaching the 2010 developed SMS and MM guidelines. The Commission has decided to impose a fine on MTN of 0.5% of its gross annual revenue approximately UShs.5billion.”
On November 5, 2014, the UCC issued a directive to all telecommunications to operationalise the 196 short code that would make it possible for uses to opt out from receiving SMS from ANY shortcode apart from messages related to national emergencies and network outages. This rule was to be effective from 21st November 2014.
Under the SMS and MM guidelines, a ‘DO not Disturb’ (DND) and ‘OPT-OUT’ option was made available to subscribers to stop receiving messages from a given shortcode.