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Ireland - Premium SMS, Short Code Regulations

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The regulations in Ireland caters and covers all of the Mobile Payment types, that includes Premium SMS BillingStandard Rate ServicesShort Codes and Operator Billing.

 Regulators

 

Commission for Communications Regulation (COMREG) is responsible for governing premium and standard rate short codes in Ireland. The full COMREG regulatory document "Ireland - Common Short Code Application Guidelines" is attached at the bottom of this forum post.

For information on running on our shared codes in Ireland see our Ireland - Shared Short Code Requirements and Restrictions forum. For more general requirements and to apply for a dedicated Irish code, see below.

 

Carriers

meteor_IE.jpgMeteor                                        o2_IE.jpg O2

vodafone_IE.jpg Vodafone                                                   three_IE.jpg 3

 

Market Statistics

Summary

Compared with most European member states, mobile broadband In Ireland has experienced strong growth over the past two years. However, Ireland still ranks below the EU27 average fixed broadband penetration, with 20.2% and 22.9% respectively. Infrastructure competition in the broadband market is one way to increase the penetration rate of fixed broadband, and as such the Irish regulator ComReg, imposed a substantial price cut on monthly rental charges for shared access to LLU in 2009. The 91% reduction of wholesale tariffs will promote competition in the Irish fixed broadband market, and should ultimately lead to faster broadband speeds and lower prices for end users.

[source]

 

General 

Geography

Area: 70,282 sq. km. (27,136 sq. mi.); slightly larger than West Virginia.
Terrain: Arable 10%, meadows and pastures 77%, rough grazing in use 11%, inland water 2%. 
Climate: Temperate maritime.

 

People

Flag: 

Nationality: Noun--Irishman, Irishwoman. Adjective--Irish. 

Population (April 2009): 4,459,300. 
Cities: Capital--Dublin (pop. 506,211). Other cities--Cork (119,418), Galway (72,414), Limerick (52,539), Waterford (45,748).
Population breakdown: 0-14 years (20%), 15-24 years (15%), 25-44 years (32%), 45-64 years (22%), 65 years and over (11%).
Population growth rate (2009 est.): 0.8%.
Languages: English, Irish (Gaelic). 

 

Government

Type: Parliamentary republic. 
Independence: December 6, 1921. 
Constitution: December 29, 1937. 
Branches: Executive--president, head of state; prime minister (taoiseach--pronounced "TEE-shuck"), head of government. Legislative--bicameral national parliament (Oireachtas--pronounced "o-ROCK-tas"): House of Representatives (Dáil--pronounced "DOIL") and Senate (Seanad--pronounced "SHAN-ad").Judicial--Supreme Court. 
Administrative subdivisions: 26 counties, 34 local authorities. 
Major political parties: Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, Green Party, Sinn Féin (pronounced “FEE-na Fall,” “FEE-na Gale,” and “SHIN Fane”).
Suffrage: Universal at 18.

 

Economics

Nominal GDP (2009): $222.7 billion. 
Real GDP growth (2009): -7.6%. 
Nominal GDP per capita (2009): $49,935. 
Natural resources: Zinc, lead, natural gas, barite, copper, gypsum, limestone, dolomite, peat. 
Agriculture (2% of GDP): Products--cattle, meat, and dairy products; barley; hay; silage; wheat. 
Industry (27% of GDP): Types--food processing, beverages, engineering, computer equipment, textiles and clothing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, construction.
Trade (2009, Ireland Central Statistics Office data): Exports--$116.5 billion (excluding services): machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, food, live animals, manufactured materials, beverages. Imports--$62.5 billion (excluding services): grains, petroleum products, machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, textile yarns. Major suppliers--Great Britain and Northern Ireland 30%, U.S. 18%, France 7%, Germany 5%, China 6%, Japan 2%; rest of the world (including other EU member states) 32%.

[source]

 

Market Growth

General region↓ Total number of Internet users (thousands)↓ Internet Users per 100 inhab.↓ Total population (thousands)↓ GDP per capita↓ GDP total (thousands)↓ Mobile subscibers per 100 inhab.↓ Total number of mobile subscribers (thousands)↓ Market Size↓ Market Growth↓
Europe 2830 64 4440 59956 266204640 121 5361 Small Slow

[source]

 

Ireland’s broadband market is under-developed by European standards, although government efforts to improve local loop unbundling and wholesale access has meant that growth, albeit from a relatively low base, has been strong during the last two years. Low penetration has partly been due to high wholesale costs, lack of competition, high retail prices, and limited coverage in many non-urban areas. The proposed structural separation of eircom could have been a catalyst for rapid development in this market, but the global financial crisis affecting eircom’s parent company, and its sale in November 2009, suspended further progress.

[source]

 

Currency

The Euro (sign: €; code: EUR) is the currency of Ireland. It is normally abbreviated with the euro sign €, or alternatively EUR. € must be used when conveying the price to users. It is divided into 100 cents. 

€EUR1 in £GBP

€EUR1 in $USD

 

Further Information

For a detailed summary of the communications market in Ireland please see: 

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/library/communications_reports/annualreports/15th/index_en.htm for more information.

 

Approval Process

As part of the application process for a shared code you will need to complete a txtNation Customer Care Form (CCF). The CCF is used to submit to the carriers for them to provision the short code and used ongoing to ensure that your service tests the same as approval. An example of the ComReg CCF and the actual ComReg CCF can be found below.

 

Registration will cost €100, plus an additional €100 per annum. If you wish to launch a service in Ireland that bills more than €0.25 and has never received a ComReg approval, you will need to apply for a PRS Licence before you go live (“ComReg_PRS_App.pdf”). In addition to the PRS Licence, should you be looking to run any of the services identified by ComReg as having a high level of potential consumer harm, you’ll need to complete an additional service application – one which includes all promotional material, plus information on the proposed message flows (“ComReg_Prs_AuthApp.pdf”). These services are as follows:

Chatline Services, Charitable/Non-Profit Organisation Payments, Sexual Entertainment Services, Subscription Services and Quiz Television Services.

NB: You will need a PRS Licence to apply for service authorisations. Every step of the value chain will need to hold a PRS Licence. So if you resell onto your own clients, they will need to hold a PRS Licence as well. Clients that are already live in Ireland, with a valid ComReg approval, will have a grace period of 6 months in which to sort out their registration. Please see attached an example application (“Comreg PRS example.pdf”). For more information regarding Live Services see section 9 of Ireland Code of Practice (link provided below).

Once you have received your ComReg PRS Licence, feel free to start as many pay-for-product services as you wish, provided the service doesn’t come under any of the categories listed below. You may apply for your PRS Licence via a number of means:

1. Send the completed (except section 4) form to txtNation, through our ticketing system. We will process it on your behalf and pay the registration fee, provided your account has sufficient funds. 
2. Fax the completed form to ComReg at: +35318049665. 

3. Post to: Premium Rate Services Licensing 

    The Commission for Communications Regulation 
    Abbey Court 
    Irish Life Centre 
    Abbey Street 
    Dublin 1

Any other associated charges:

- ComReg Levy of 1.8% deducted from operator revenue share.

- Vodafone requires a minimum of €1000 monthly traffic each month, per code.

- Meteor requires a minimum of €100 monthly traffic each month, per code. 

Other notes:

- O2 IE provisions dedicated codes on the last Friday of every month, so short code orders need to be with O2 by then to be provisioned in that code run.

 

Promotional Guidelines

The identity and contact details of the Service Provider must be clearly stated in all promotional material so that Consumers can contact them directly. Identity details must consist of the following:

  • Company trade or business name,
  • An Irish telephone number priced at national rate or below.
  • The full postal address or PO box number must be supplied to Consumers on request.

Promotions transmitted by radio, television, teletext, telephone, mobile phone, facsimile, the Internet, or any other form of electronic communication, or any other medium, must observe the provisions of this Code of Practice in the manner most reasonable and appropriate to the technology employed, and to the satisfaction of ComReg.

Service Providers must take all reasonable steps to ensure that Promotional Material does not reach those for whom the Service concerned might be regarded as inappropriate.

In the case of promotions that appear in editorial material, Service Providers must use their best endeavours to ensure compliance with these provisions.

Promotional Material must not be misleading in relation to the Service supplied or to be supplied, including any applicable limitations and must explicitly bring any major conditions to the attention of Consumers such as the linking of Consumer consent to the use of personal data for marketing purposes with the Consumer’s use of the Service.

Promotional Material must not seek to take advantage of lack of Consumer knowledge by use of technical jargon, abbreviated or concatenated text or other methods. All promotions must comply with:

  • legislation covering misleading advertising, (including the Consumer Protection Act 2007 and the European Communities (Misleading Advertising) Regulations, 1988 (S.I. No 134 of 1988));
  • any sector specific regulation;
  • the Codes relating to Advertising, Promotion and Direct Marketing (published by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland) and the Irish Direct Marketing Association;
  • the Children’s Advertising Code published by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland;
  • specific conditions laid down by the relevant professional bodies;
  • codes and policies issued by the appropriate regulatory authorities, including the General Advertising Code of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.

Service Providers are responsible for ensuring that the content, promotion and operation of all their Premium Rate Services (whether provided by themselves or by their Information Providers) comply with both the general and specific conditions of this Code of Practice. Any infringement of this Code on the part of an Information/Content Provider will be the responsibility of the Service Provider to which the Premium Rate Number has been allocated.
The Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 and regulations made thereunder provide the legislative framework for the prevention of unsolicited communications for direct marketing purposes. The Data Protection Commissioner enforces this legislation and has power to prosecute offences. To ensure compliance with the data protection legislation and regulations, persons engaged in direct marketing activities should observe the guidance notes published by the Data Protection Commissioner.

 

Services and Promotional Material must comply with the law and must not contain or promote anything which is in breach of the law, nor omit anything which the law requires to be included. Services and Promotional Material must not facilitate or encourage anything which is in any way unlawful.
Service Providers must ensure that Premium Rate Services do not infringe Section 13 (1) Post Office (Amendment) Act, 1951 (as amended). Section 13 (1) provides as follows:
“Any person who;

  • sends, by telephone, any message that is grossly offensive or indecent, obscene or menacing; or
  •  for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another person: 

             - sends by telephone any message that the sender knows to be false, or

          - persistently makes telephone calls to another person without reasonable cause, commits an offence.

Fax-Back Services must contain correct information and ensure that time-sensitive information is updated. The normal transmission speed must be acceptable to ComReg. The maximum cost of the Fax-Back Service which must not exceed €12 per transaction must be stated in all Promotional Material.

ComReg reserves the right in the case of a Premium Mobile Subscription Service, or any particular category of such Service, to require that Consumers be informed of the maximum number of messages per period specified by ComReg before they enter the Service and be informed that a Premium Rate Charge is applied per message received.

Services must not be of a nature which encourages calls not authorised by the person who is liable to pay the bill. Where there is a determination by ComReg that a Service is to terminate at the expiration of a fixed period of time or charge, the Service Provider must effect termination within the time or monetary limit so fixed. 

In all Promotional Material, the prefix number or Short Code must be presented in such a way that it can clearly be identified as a Premium Rate Service to the reasonable satisfaction of ComReg. Promotional material must, to the reasonable satisfaction of ComReg, provide details of all costs associated with the Service including premium rate charges, whether data download charges apply and where applicable the size of the download and any network charges. For the avoidance of doubt, the amount of the data download charge need not be specified.


Consumers must give a positive acceptance of subscription charges by clicking on the designated option once the frequency of charging and pricing information has been disclosed along with any relevant terms and conditions related to the Service. On subscribing to the Service a free-to-recipient text message must be sent within a short time Code of Practice detailing the subscription, in the manner specified in paragraph 11.13.2 of the Code of Practice (in link below).

All Promotional Material for Premium Mobile Services must contain, in clear terms, detailed pricing information, inclusive of VAT and any other cost associated with the Service. 

Consumers must give a positive acceptance of subscription charges by clicking on the designated option once the frequency of charging and pricing information has been disclosed along with any relevant terms and conditions related to the Service. On subscribing to the Service a free-to-recipient text message must be sent within a short time Code of Practice detailing the subscription in the manner specified in paragraph 11.13.2 of the Code of Practice (in link below).

Services must not be of a nature which encourages calls not authorised by the person who is liable to pay the bill.
Where there is a determination by ComReg that a Service is to terminate at the expiration of a fixed period of time or charge, the Service Provider must effect termination within the time or monetary limit so fixed. 

In all Promotional Material, the prefix number or Short Code must be presented in such a way that it can clearly be identified as a Premium Rate Service to the reasonable satisfaction of ComReg. Promotional material must, to the reasonable satisfaction of ComReg, provide details of all costs associated with the Service including premium rate charges, whether data download charges apply and where applicable the size of the download and any network charges. For the avoidance of doubt, the amount of the data download charge need not be specified.

 

All Promotional Material must contain in clear terms contact details for the Service Provider and information as to how to “opt-out” of receiving future Promotional Material and “opt-out” of the underlying database by sending the word “STOP” to the Short Code and the Service Provider must act on any such instruction. 

Promotional Material must relate only to Services authorised by ComReg. 

For the period that a Consumer remains on a direct marketing database, Service Providers must retain records of: 

  • The Consumer opting into the direct marketing database;
  • The Consumer subscribing to a Subscription Service; 
  • The sending and receiving number and the date, time andcontent of direct marketing promotions. 

In the case of advertising and promotions including direct marketing promotions, Service Providers must retain records of the Promotional Material for a minimum of 12 months and make them available to ComReg on request. The records retained must include: 

  • The content of the promotion; 
  • The date and time that the promotion was sent/published. Code of Practice

Details of and the source of the direct marketing database used for the sending of Promotional Material must be made available to ComReg on request, along with evidence of the method of obtaining the Consumer’s “opt-in” to the database. 

Each Subscription Service must be a stand-alone service. Consumers who subscribe to a particular Subscription Service on a Short Code number must not be concurrently subscribed to the same service, whether on the same Short Code number or other number. The following practices are not permissible:

- Allowing a Consumer to subscribe to multiple instances of the same subscription service; Code of Practice. 
- Causing a Consumer to be subscribed to multiple subscription services when they respond to a single keyword.

Handling Callback Requests:

This is an update received from ComReg regarding what to do when you receive a request to call a user back:

  • "At this stage, many of you will be familiar with the callback request emails which are sent by ComReg’s Consumer Care Team. These requests ask you to confirm that a consumer has been called back in relation to their complaint, or that reasonable attempts have been made to contact the consumer within 3 working days.
  • Due to enquiries received from some Aggregator Providers, ComReg would like to provide the following clarifications with the aim of assisting Aggregator Providers in ensuring that consumer care is kept consistent:
  • ‘Reasonable attempt’ is deemed to be three distinct callback efforts during normal office hours and over two consecutive working days. If, on the third attempt, there is no answer, it is then acceptable to either leave a voicemail or send a no cost text labelled “Free” to the consumer advising of the contact attempt and providing the helpline number.
  • You must retain a record of the date and time of the callback attempts. It would be useful, in case of a dispute, if this record could be provided to ComReg in the email response to the request. The record should also be made available to the consumer if required.

Note: Please pass this information to any of your clients if they are providing their own customer support function or if they are responsible for responding directly to these callback requests."

Sections 10 through to 14 of the Code of Practice contains more information regarding procedures and sanctions, premium mobile short code voice and video short code services and online/web premium rates services.

Services which involve the collection of personal information, such as names, addresses and telephone numbers (including calling line identification or caller display information), must make clear to Consumers the purpose for which the information is to be used and must provide information to Consumers as to how to opt-out of such use. The Service must also identify the data user (if different from the Service Provider or Information Provider) and any different use to which the personal information might be put and provide the Consumer with an opportunity to prevent such usage. Consumer data may be used for promotional purposes only if the Consumer has opted-in to the promotion and the Service being promoted is one that the Consumer would reasonably have Code of Practice expected to receive based on information available at the time of the opt-in. At each promotion to a Consumer using electronic means, a low cost (no more than cost of carriage) means of opting-out must be provided to the Consumer, using same or similar communication methods to that employed by the promotion.

 

All Competition Services must be authorised in advance, in writing, by ComReg. Competition Services may be the subject of legal or regulatory restrictions and ComReg reserves the right to require Service Providers to secure legal or regulatory clearance reasonably acceptable to ComReg before permitting the Service Provider to provide or promote such services. All Promotional Material must clearly indicate that these Services are classified as entertainment services. Consumers on accessing these services must be informed that they are entertainment services. 

Promotional Material must not be misleading in relation to the Service supplied or to be supplied, including any applicable limitations and must explicitly bring any major conditions to the attention of Consumers such as the linking of Consumer consent to the use of personal data for marketing purposes with the Consumer’s use of the Service.

Promotional Material (other than promotional mobile text messages) must clearly state and prominently display any information which is likely to affect a decision to participate, and in particular: 

  • The closing date, indicating any specific time of entry closure; 
  • Any material terms and conditions, including any restriction on the number of entries or prizes to be won, in total and per individual; Code of Practice 
  • An accurate and clear description of prizes, including the number of major prizes; 
  • Any material age, geographical or other eligibility restrictions; 
  • Any material costs which a Consumer would not normally expect to pay in conjunction with or so as to be eligible to receive a prize; 
  • On the front of all Promotional Material the following information must appear: 

             - The closing date, 
             - The Call/PSMS/PMMS cost, 
             - The maximum call duration, 
             - An age warning, 
             - A mobile cost warning, 

  • Any requirement that the Consumer participate in any market research (e.g. questionnaire or surveys) or promotional activity; 
  • The fact, if it is the case, that the Consumer data collected from participants may be used for the purpose of promoting or providing another Service and that the Consumer is entitled to opt out in respect of the use of any such data. 

(For more information regarding competition policies, it can be located in the link below, section 8.2.)

All Promotional Material for Premium Mobile Subscription Services must contain the following information in a clear and legible font and in the following order: 

  • A description of Premium Mobile Subscription Service and the frequency of charging, including the initial charge; 
  • Confirmation to the Consumer that the Premium Mobile Subscription Service incurs a recurring/repeat charge to the Consumer;  
  • Age warning, as appropriate; 
  • The identity and contact details of the Service Provider; Code of Practice 
  • Information on how to unsubscribe using only the word “STOP”. 

Promotional Material for Premium Mobile Services must:

  • Indicate clearly when that Service is a Subscription Service (as to which see Section11 of this Code),
  • Indicate clearly without abbreviations or concatenations that would obscure the clarity of the information, the initial cost, the minimum cost and the recurring cost of the Service along with the frequency of recurring charges, 
  • Indicate whether it is a Chat or Group Chat Service.

 

It is a criminal offence to harass another person (under Section 10 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997) or to engage in aggressive commercial practices (under Section 54 of the Consumer Protection Act 2007). Service Providers must ensure that any communications that they engage in to promote their services do not constitute harassment and aggressive commercial practice as defined therein.

Services and Promotional Material must not:

  • Contain material indicating or depicting violence, sadism or cruelty, or be of a repulsive or horrible nature,
  • Involve the use of foul or obscene language or sexually explicit language or images.

Services and Promotional Material must not be of a kind that are likely to:

  • Result in any unreasonable invasion of privacy,
  • Induce fear or anxiety,
  • Encourage or incite any person to engage in harmful or dangerous practices or to use dangerous substances,
  • Induce or promote disharmony or discrimination on the basis of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, race, national origin, religion, age, disability or membership of the travelling community,
  • Cause grave or widespread offence,
  • Debase, degrade or demean,
  • Use subliminal messaging as a form of promotion or content delivery.

Service Providers must ensure that Services and Promotional Material are not used in any way to promote or facilitate prostitution. 

Promotional Material for Premium Mobile Services must:

  • Indicate clearly when that Service is a Subscription Service (as to which see Section11 of this Code),
  • Indicate clearly without abbreviations or concatenations that would obscure the clarity of the information, the initial cost, the minimum cost and the recurring cost of the Service along with the frequency of recurring charges,
  • Indicate whether it is a Chat or Group Chat Service.

Promotional messages must not attract a premium rate charge or any further charge. In addition the sending of such messages should clearly indicate that it is a “Free Message” or “FreeMsg”.

ComReg reserves the right to issue directions to Service Providers with regard to the text or content of Promotional Material with a view to protecting the Code of Practice interests of Consumers (including in particular but without limitation the interests of children) and Service Providers must comply with such directions. Any such directions will be consistent with this Code and will specify the relevant provision of the Code.

Service Provider details used in Promotional Material must be the same as those which have already been provided to ComReg. The contact details for the Information Provider, if desired, may also appear in the promotion or advertisement but should be clearly distinct from those of the Service Provider.

 

Message Flow Requirement

Service Providers must provide an introductory message advising the caller when a Service is for entertainment purposes (e.g. joke, “windup” and hoax Services) and such Services must not infringe the statutory provision cited at paragraph. For the purpose of this Code, Services designated as Psychic, Tarot, Horoscope or other similar Services are deemed to be entertainment services. 

Promotional Material sent to a Consumer’s mobile phone must indicate that it is a “free message” by the use of the wording “Free Message” or “FreeMsg” in the message body or in the sender address. In the case of the latter, the Short Code to opt out of promotional messages must be in the message body. 

Unavailable or Short Duration Services - Consumers must not be charged at a Premium Rate in respect of Services or parts thereof that deliver a “busy tone” or “silence” prior to connection to the requested Service or in respect of a Service which is unavailable to them. Consumers must not be charged for the receipt of error messages.

 

ComReg reserves the right in respect of any category or description of Premium Rate Service, if there is reasonable cause to do so, to vary the monetary threshold or limit specified in this Code, upwards or downwards, in order to protect the interest of Consumers. 


When transmitting a Premium Rate Service or a promotion for same by PSMS or PMMS, the Short Code of the service must be displayed and if this is not possible then the originating number of the sender must be displayed on every message sent to the Consumer in either case so as to allow for an immediate reply using the STOP command.

Any Service aimed at 18 year olds and over must carry an age warning and require the Consumer to confirm his or her age.

Mobile Web Sites must operate with sufficient technical quality to ensure that a Consumer is not charged for digital content services that are not compatible with the handset that is accessing the Mobile Web Site.

 

Services must not be unreasonably prolonged or delayed.

No Premium Rate Service may be promoted as being "free" if it involves any charges whatsoever to a consumer other than a reasonable delivery charge (not being a premium rate charge) which is adequately disclosed to the consumer to the reasonable satisfaction of ComReg. No product or service may be described as "free" if it is obtainable only by the use of a Premium Rate Service involving a charge to a consumer.

Promotions delivered via WAP Push must adhere to the following:

  • Consumers must be allowed to opt out, free of charge, on receipt of the first free text message by texting “STOP” to the originating Short Code Number.
  • Following receipt of a text or multimedia promotional message, a further free to recipient text message or WAP push message containing the link (URL) to the service must follow. If the Consumer clicks on the link, the information specified at paragraph 11.13.1 of this Code must be repeated on the landing page of the Service. The landing page must also be free to the user (apart from any network data charges). The Consumer at this stage must be permitted to “ opt-out” of the promotional database by responding to an option within the landing page.
  • The Service Provider must not raise any premium rate charge until the Consumer responds to an option within the landing page to accept the charges detailed.

On subscribing to a Premium Mobile Subscription Service and before the Premium Mobile Subscription Service commences, the Consumer must be sent a free stand-alone initial information message setting out the following in clear terms and in the following order:

  • The name of the Service; 
  • Confirmation that the Service is subscription based; 
  • What the billing period is e.g. per day, per week, per month or, if there is no billing period, the frequency of the messages being sent; 
  • The cost in euro (€) per message; 
  • An age warning where appropriate; 
  • Service Provider name and contact details; 
  • The fact that the Consumer can unsubscribe from the Service by sending the word “STOP” to a designated Short Code Number. 

The word “STOP” and other key words designated solely by ComReg to unsubscribe must be effective without being case sensitive. Where a Consumer texts the word “STOP” to unsubscribe from a Premium Mobile Subscription Service, the Service Provider must cease the charging and the provision of the service to the Consumer with immediate effect. 

The Service Provider, on receipt of an unsubscribe message, must forthwith send a free information message to the Consumer acknowledging receipt of the unsubscribe message and the fact that it has been Code of Practice acted on. The cost of unsubscribing from the Service must be no more than a standard text message charge.

When a Consumer has spent €20 (or such other amounts as may be specified by ComReg) on a PSMS Subscription Service, the Service Provider must send a free reminder text message containing in clear terms details of the subscription service, charges, frequency of charges and the unsubscribe facility using the word “STOP”. This message must be repeated at €20 intervals, must be stand-alone and not be associated with any other information or promotional material.

Service Providers must provide Consumer Subscribe and Unsubscribe facilities for all Subscription Services, to enable Consumers to Subscribe and Unsubscribe with immediate effect. Consumers must be allowed to unsubscribe by replying to the Short Code being used with the word “STOP” to the Service Provider. ComReg may designate other standard words which may be used by Consumers for this purpose. 

Service Providers must not raise a premium rate charge to provide information about a Premium Mobile Subscription Service or its availability. A Premium Rate charge may only be raised when the Premium Mobile Subscription Service itself has been requested by and delivered to a Consumer.

Where a Consumer has subscribed to a Premium Mobile Subscription Service and there are no successfully delivered Premium Mobile messages for 40 days, the Consumer must be unsubscribed automatically from that Premium Mobile Subscription Service and must be removed from the database. 

Service Providers must provide to Consumers details of date, time, method of subscription and the date and time on which the confirmation message was sent to the Consumer if the Consumer requests validation of his/her subscription. 

1. SUBSCRIPTION REQUEST MESSAGE

New Code of Practice states:

To subscribe to [name of service and optional description] for [sign-up cost] and [cost of service in €] per [billing frequency - message received/time] and confirm that you are over 18 yrs, text AGREE [or other unique keyword for the service] to Short Code 5XXXX.

ComReg recommends:

FreeMsg To subscribe to NNNNNNNNNNN Club for EUR2.50 joining fee+EUR12.50 per week (EUR2.50 X 5) and confirm that you are over 18yrs,text OK to shortcode 57XXX

 

2. SUBSCRIPTION CONFIRMATION MESSAGE

New Code of Practice states:

You have subscribed to [name of service and optional description] for [sign-up costs] and [cost of service in €] per [billing frequency - message received/time] until you send STOP to [originating service short code]. Helpline [not more than national rate phone number]. [Any URL that the PRS providers wishes]

ComReg recommends:

FreeMsg You have subscribed to NNNNNNNNNNN Club for EUR2.50 joining fee + EUR12.50 per week (EUR2.50 X 5) until you send STOP to 57XXX. Helpline XXXXXXXXX

 

3. SUBSCRIPTION REGULATORY UPDATE MESSAGE

New Code of Practice states:

You are subscribed to [name of service and optional description] for [cost of service in €] per [billing frequency - message received/time] until you send STOP to [originating service short code]. Helpline [not more than national rate phone number].

ComReg recommends:

FreeMsg. You are subscribed to NNNNNNNNNNN club for EUR12.50 per week (EUR2.50 X 5) until you send STOP to 57885. Helpline: XXXXXXX

 

Transactional Message Flow Example:

1) User sends in MO keyword

 2) Return MT:

FreeMsg Thank you for your purchase of €X.XX service provided by {Service Provider}. Help:1800812799

 

Service Type

Chatline service, Services for charitable or non-profit organisations, Sexual entertainment services, Subscription services and Quiz television Services are all services requiring Regulator approval.

Service Providers must, where relevant, comply with the Video Recordings Act 1989. Code of Practice.

Services must contain only information which is given in good faith and which is reasonably believed by the Service Provider at the time it is delivered to the Consumer to be correct and up to date and it must be made clear to Consumers when time-sensitive information was last updated. 

Service Providers must not, whether by themselves or by persons acting on their behalf, send unsolicited, random, or untargeted telecommunications messages (referred to as SPAM), and the use of Premium Rate Services must not be promoted by the use of such messages. 

For Provisions relating to specific categories of service see section 8 through to 9 of the Ireland Code of Practice (link provided below).

 

Billing Types

We operate on Mobile Originated (MO) and Mobile Terminated (MT) billed lines in Ireland, though our shared codes are exclusively MT. See forum entry "What are the SMS billing types available?" for more information on these billing types.

 

Short codes 

On our shared code in Ireland we operate on a 5 digit short code for each carrier, 57xxx. 

 

Tax

The current Irish rate of tax is available via Wikipedia. The out-payments on our rate cards are exclusive of VAT, so if you are VAT registered you can claim a higher outpayment than is shown.

 

Dedicated Codes 

Dedicated codes are available with a 2 - 5 week lead time depending on carrier availability, the carriers approve based on their backlog, the time of year, price point and service type. You can read more about Short Code Coverage, SMS Billing Services and Mobile Payments in Ireland via the txtNation Gateway

Ireland has the following Mobile Payment options available, all of which fall under these regulations:

  • Premium SMS (P-SMS) including Short Code services
  • Operator Billing (Direct-to-bill)

Additional options for Mobile Payments and Messaging in Ireland include:

  • HLR Lookup
  • Bulk SMS

Note: This page is updated as frequently as possible when we are informed from the regulators or mobile operators in Ireland of a change or update in regulations. There may be a latest version of Premium SMS, Mobile Payments or Short Code Regulations in Ireland. Please contact your account manager for more information.

Finally, please see attached a new CSD (Country Specific data) sheet for Ireland (“IE_CSD_0710.pdf”).

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  • Avatar
    txtNation Support

    Ireland

    Date of announcement: 9th May 2012

    Required time to make below changes: 5th June 2012 

    Important changes are required in Ireland due to the release of the new Comreg Code of Practice for Premium Rate Services. A summary PDF can be found below, however it is essential that clients operating in Ireland review the material in full, at the following URL: http://www.comreg.ie/publications/code_of_practice___premium_rate_s...

  • Avatar
    txtNation Support

    From: Premium Rate Services prs@comreg.ie

    Date: 26 July 2012 12:53

    Subject: Premium Rate Services Code of Practice Update

    Dear Provider, 

    In an Information Notice published on 5 April 2012, ComReg notified the public of its decision to implement a new Code of Practice for Premium Rate Services (“PRS”), to come into force on 5 June 2012.

    On 2 June 2012, the High Court put a stay on the implementation of sections 4.15, 4.22, 5.13-5.15 and 5.64 of the Code of Practice, following an application made by Modeva Interactive, Zamano plc and Phone Paid Services Association Limited. ComReg notified the public of this stay by way of an Information Notice dated 2 June 2012.

    Yesterday, 25 July 2012, the High Court lifted the stay. Accordingly, these provisions are now fully in effect, the rest of the Code of Practice having been in effect from 5 June 2012. In this regard ComReg has issued a further Information Notice today ComReg Document No. 12/80.

    All licensed PRS providers should therefore make immediate arrangements to ensure that they comply with sections 4.15, 4.22, 5.13-5.15 and 5.64 of the Code of Practice as well as the other provisions of the Code of Practice.

    ComReg, in accordance with its statutory obligation is fully committed to ensuring the interests of end-users of PRS are protected.

    In this regard, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Carty or Ellen Corcoran at prs@comreg.ie with any queries.

     

    Sincerely

    Commission for Communications Regulation

    Abbey Court, Irish Life Centre

    Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1, Ireland

    Tel. +353 1 804 9600

    Email prs@comreg.ie

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