The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has dissociated itself from unsolicited political text messages which are being sent to customers.
In a statement, the Chamber, which represents the three main telecommunications operators – namely AirtelTigo, MTN and Vodafone – said its members are politically neutral and their operating policies prohibit the promotion of any political party.
The statement comes after customers of some mobile networks in Ghana received unsolicited text messages over the weekend.
Concern from customers
The customers have raised concerns as to how the senders obtained their telephone numbers.
“The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has noted with concern, customer complaints across various media relating to a recent political party’s unsolicited message.
“The Chamber would like to state unequivocally that its members, the mobile network operators (MNOs), are politically neutral, and their policies and principles prohibit the promotion of any political party,” the statement said.
According to the Chamber, such unsolicited messages could come from any source which has a subscriber in their database.
Providing clarification as to how the text messages were sent to the public, the Chamber said: “Political parties rely on content providers to do bulk SMS transfers on their behalf. Content providers build databases of phone numbers from various sources, including online, social media etc. Political parties have access to data which they get through their own sources, including their fundraising activities and other events.”
It also said that its members do not give out contacts of their subscribers to content providers or marketers for targeting.
“Customers who wish to unsubscribe from UECs of any kind should type STOP (space) SENDER’S NAME and send to the number from which the message or call was sent to stop receiving such messages.” It added: “If the UECs persists, contact your service provider to omit you from the promotional list and the regulator as a last resort,” the statement said.
Similar messages also made the rounds before voter registration in June this year.