The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has sensitized network operators and their customers on existing guidelines and best practices on the incidence of spam and Unsolicited Electronic Communications (UEC).

This follows concerns raised by customers across various media relating to a recent political party’s unsolicited message.

To this end, the chamber stated unequivocally that “its members, the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), are politically neutral, and their policies and principles prohibit the promotion of any political party” and as an industry, they are “committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure the continued growth of our democracy”.

They took the opportunity to clarify and educate customers on the incidence of the unsolicited political messages.

They stated that the Mobile Network Operators themselves do not send out UECs for and on behalf of any Political Party as political parties tend to rely on Content Providers to do bulk SMS transfers on their behalf.

These Content Providers over time have built databases of phone numbers from various sources including online, social media etc.

In addition, they indicated that political parties themselves have access to data which they get through their own sources such as their fundraising activities and other events, therefore these unsolicited messages may not necessarily come from the operator customers use.  

“It could come from any source if your number is part of their targeted database,” the statement said.

The Telecoms Chamber further assured customers that they will be working closely with the National Communications Authority to support ongoing plans in implementing filtering systems and blacklist mechanisms to protect them.

They advised customers who wish to unsubscribe from the unsolicited political message or any other unsolicited message to type “STOP (space) SENDERS’ NAME” and send to the number from which the message or call was sent to stop receiving such messages.

According to the Chamber, should the UECs persist, customers should contact their service provider to omit them from the promotional list “and the Regulator as last resort”.

“The mobile industry, beyond being accountable to the customer, remains committed to delivering quality voice and data services as well as that new digital world to its customers,” they concluded.