Spam text messages: TRA fights back

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Spam text messages: TRA fights back
Spam text messages are a major headache for the public and regulatory authorities. The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority is gearing up to tackle the problem. Photo: Alpha/Flickr

UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is fighting spam text messages these days. According to reports during Q1 2013, over three million spam complaints were received.

Spam text messages are nothing new and can soon become a major headache for regulatory authorities if not controlled. The Telecommunications Regulatory Agency is gearing up for the task and has openly stated that they would not shy away from taking proactive measures to deal with the situation. According to reports, most of these spam messages originate from within GCC countries, and international spammers are involved.

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority gears up to tackle the problem

TRA set up a monitoring system to counter the flow of spam messages with the cooperation of Etisalat and Du two omnipresent GCC telecom companies. The system will block unwanted spam text messages that are being sent from outside the UAE.

For those sending messages within the UAE, TRA is gearing up to catch and punish offenders. The TRA’s rules are strict, and repeated offences may result in temporary suspension, which in the worst cases can become permanent suspension. Both Etisalat and Du are working with the regulators to  conform to the new rules.

“Since the first regulatory policy of 2009, TRA has been monitoring implementation carefully and evaluating its effect on the volume of unwanted spam messages.” — Deputy Director General for the telecommunication sector, TRA

He added that the Etisalat and Du are implementing long term plans to curb the problem. TRA Assistant Manager of Wireless Networks Development, Khalid Belhoul, said that the TRA has conducted 75 audits of Etisalat and Du in the first quarter to make sure they are properly following the applicable codes of conduct.

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