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

Joe Anokye - NCA Director-General

Ghana’s mobile communications industry regulator, National Communications Authority (NCA) has ordered 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 dated October 22, 2021 signed by NCA Director-General, Joe Anokye, the NCA said it has observed that special numbering resources (SNRs) or short codes authorized for particular service providers for specific services, have been sub-allocated to other players with extensions for offer additional services without NCA’s authorization.

The letter, for instance, explained that for a short code 311, authorized to a particular VAS player for a specific service, that VAS players has created extensions such as *311*1# or *311*2# and so on and sub-allocated the extensions to third parties for unauthorized services, instead of directing those players to NCA for authorization.

“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.”

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.

TechGH24 is reliably informed that VASP players are not perturbed by the directive and they are gearing up to challenge it in the coming days.

Find the NCA’s letter below.


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