Telecom firms face penalties for failing to block advertising calls

By Luu Quy   April 16, 2024 | 12:46 am PT
Telecom firms face penalties for failing to block advertising calls
A man in Hanoi receives a phone call from a stranger. Photo by VnExpress/Luu Quy
Viettel, CMC Telecom, and FPT Telecom could be fined VND140 million (US$5,500) each for not effectively preventing nuisance calls to users, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications.

The figure was recommended following an inspection of the three network operators, said a ministry's spokesperson at a meeting on Monday.

The inspection was carried out in October and November last year for fixed telephone services.

It included contents such as guiding users on how to combat, report, and block spam calls; implementing measures to block advertising calls to the Do Not Call (DCN) list; and applying technical measures to identify suspected subscribers.

According to the ministry's conclusion, all three network operators complied with the decision and carried out technical measures to identify and block spam calls.

However, they were assessed as "not thoroughly implementing measures to block advertising calls to the DCN list," which resulted in the suggested fines.

Specifically, during the inspection period, Viettel had 1,165 calls using identifiable names to more than 920 subscribers registered on the no-advertising list, CMC Telecom had 63,390 advertising calls to over 41,900 subscribers, FPT Telecom had over 526,100 advertising calls to more than 137,100 subscribers.

This violated a government decree on combating spam messages, emails, and calls.

The Telecommunications Department under the ministry suggested that in addition to the fines for the three network operators, the violating subscribers should also be suspended for two months.

VNPT was also found to have around 1,240 spam and advertising calls to 626 subscribers.

However, it explained that "due to technological limitations, VNPT's public switched telephone network cannot block calls from fixed subscribers to the DNC list."

Moreover, the method of disseminating spam and advertising calls changes constantly, and the processing was overloaded, so calls to the DNC list were not blocked.

The ministry does not recommend a monetary fine for VNPT, but requested it to complete the system and address the identified issues and limitations.

All four network operators have not commented on this matter.

The DNC list is a collection of subscribers registering not to receive advertising text messages and calls. When users register on the list, organizations and individuals are not allowed to send messages or make advertising calls to them.

Users can register for the list by texting DK DNC to 5656, or registering via the website

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