EghtesadOnline: Iran Communications Regulatory Authority said on Friday it has blocked over 217,000 phone numbers of advertisement senders from November 2017 to Jan. 10, 2020, for combating annoying text messages.
CRA's website shows that the fight against ad senders is still underway and 217,368 SIM cards have so far been blocked for bombarding people with unsolicited text messages, according to Financial Tribune.
Authorities at the oversight body believe that the battle against such ad senders is far from over, as new SIM cards and companies join the bandwagon of continuing publicity campaigns, IRNA reported.
Peyman Qaredaghi, a deputy head at CRA, said the cost of sending mass advertisements through text messaging is still very low compared to other means of commercial promotion.
CRA aims to curb such adverts by cracking down on firms using this indiscriminate mode of publicity. It has initiated legal actions against such companies and managed to reduce the number of such ads considerably.
"People can complain against such ad senders by simply forwarding their phone numbers through an automated system," he said.
“They can simply send the ad senders’ number to hotline 195 and the regulator will block the number after issuing a warning.”
Qaredaghi noted that the authority blocked nearly 3,000 numbers in the first week of launching the system in November 2017, but concerted efforts are required to verify and block them effectively.
Complaints in Detail
According to CRA, about 85,000 complaints against ad senders have been received in the past nine months to mid-December, accounting for only 15% of all cases registered with the authority.
Qaredaghi stressed the fact that the number of complaints has been increasing constantly over the past several years.
Elaborating on the nature of most complaints in the past nine months, the official said about 29% of all cases were about fixed-line communication issues, including telephony.
Some 36% of all complaints received by CRA concerned the quality of services in general, including landline telephony and internet, mobile network and data coverage.
Qaredaghi further said poor mobile network coverage was the subject of 16% of dissatisfied subscribers.
The official noted that detailed studies of the complaints show citizens in certain areas of the country face particular types of communication problems.
Qaredaghi said this indicates that people’s concerns differ, depending on their place of residence.
"For instance, people living in the border cities of western Iran are mostly concerned about mobile network and data roaming. This is while people in metropolises like Tehran, Yazd, Isfahan and Alborz care mostly about customer services and support," he said.
Qaredaghi recommended major mobile operators to identify and remove shortcomings in their services to increase customer satisfaction.
Figures also show that complaints over the quality of internet connection, both landline and mobile data, have grown considerably over the past several months.
No data have been disclosed on the complaints failed about this category of ICT services.
System for Evaluating Operators
In an effort to provide adequate services to communication and internet subscribers, an evaluation system has been launched to give subscribers the opportunity to analyze and assess operators.
The system, called Faradid, is a website presenting a detailed analysis and ranking of mobile operators and their services.
Besides subscribers, the website also benefits operators in different ways. By monitoring the analytical data provided on the website, mobile operators could observe their status, maintain their strengths and remove shortcomings.
Qaredaghi said the system helps promote competitiveness among mobile operator companies, encouraging them to offer more efficient services.
The ICT Ministry launched the website in late August 2019. However, its data center is yet to become operational.
CRA officials say the website will begin to offer public services in a couple of months.