NCA orders VAS players to deactivate all sub-allocated short codes

Mobile communications industry regulator body in Ghana, National Communications Authority (NCA) has given an ultimatum to all mobile value added service (VAS) providers in the country to deactivate all sub-allocated short codes in the next 30 days or risk stiffer sanctions.

In a letter surfacing the media on October 22, 2021 signed by NCA Director-General, Mr Joe Anokye, the NCA said it has observed that special numbering resources (SNRs) or short codes authorised for particular service providers for specific services, have been sub-allocated to other players with extensions for offer additional services without NCA’s authorisation.

An example cited in the letter, explained that for a short code 311, authorised by NCA to a particular VAS player for a specific service, VAS players has created extensions such as *311*1# or *311*2# and so on and sub-allocated these extensions to third parties for unauthorised services, instead of directing those players to NCA for authorisation.

“The NCA would like to bring your attention to the fact that the sub-allocation of short codes to third parties by VASPs is illegal and not allowed under the conditions of the Certificate of Authority issued to certificate holders,” it said.

According to the NCA, Condition 5 of the Certificate of Authority,  as printed at the back of the certificate issued to VASPs states that “It is an offence to sub-allocate the assigned SNR (short code) to any other entity for the purpose of sharing for different applications.”

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The NCA has therefore issued a 30-day ultimatum to all VASPs in the practice to deactivate the sub-allocated numbers or have their authorization terminated and other sanctions issued on them.

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Below is a copy of NCA’s letter

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