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Latvia - Premium SMS, Short Code Requirements

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The regulations in Latvia caters and covers all of the Mobile Payment types, that includes Premium SMS BillingStandard Rate Services and Short Codes.

 

For information regarding shared short codes in Latvia please see Latvia - Shared Short Code Regulations and Requirements for more details.

 

Regulator

regulator_logo.gif Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is the regulating body for Latvia.

 

Public utilities’ sectors (electricity, gas, heat supply, telecommunications, water supply, sewerage and railway) are usually characterised by natural monopolies. This is because capital-intensive and complicated infrastructure allows only one large company to operate in the limited market place and provide services to a wide group of consumers. Public utilities regulation prevents abuse of monopoly power and provides consumers with services of adequate quality for reasonable price. The international experience shows that special regulatory agency must be set up to provide professional regulation of public utilities.

 

In Latvia these services are provided by historically established monopolies. Although the market of public utilities is gradually liberalised and new players enter some sectors, the large enterprises still dominate. Quite often efficiency of utilities is low and quality of these services does not correspond to their prices. Due to economic reasons not all these sectors can be opened up for competition. Therefore a unified public utilities regulation system on central and local government levels was established in autumn 2001. Utilities in the state-regulated sectors, namely, energy (except heat supply), telecommunications, post and railway are regulated by the Public Utilities Regulation Commission. While household waste management, water supply, sewerage and heating industries are regulated on local government level by institutions established by the respective municipalities.

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Below you can find the following documents regarding regulations and restrictions in Latvia :

Code of conduct for the Protection of Children in the Field of Mobile Communications in Latvia for Premium Rate Services.

National Implementation report for SMS Billing and Mobile Payments in Latvia.

Latvia Service Guidelines version1.1

 

 

Carriers

 Lmt_logo.png LMT

LMT's main service is voice transmission and the company has been expanding service offerings related to data transmission and wireless Internet access. LMT was the first company in Latvia to provide its customers with WAP services (giving access to the Internet using a mobile handset, without using a computer), "Mobile Bank", enabling customers to perform banking operations using a mobile handset, as well as GPRS services (data transmission, using data package commutation principle).

[source]

 

BITE___Search.pngBITE

BITĖ Group is one of the biggest international telecommunications groups in the Baltic countries. The group, which was set up in 2005, consists of BITĖ Lietuva operating in Lithuania since 1995 and BITE Latvija established in 2005. Since 9 February 2007 the sole shareholder of BITĖ has been Mid Europa Partners. Mid Europa Partners is a leading independent private equity investment firm in Central and Eastern Europe. 

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tele2_logo_2873.gif    Tele2

 Tele2 AB is a major European telecommunications operator, with about 30 million customers in 11 countries. It serves as a fixed-line telephone operator, cable television provider, mobile phone operator and Internet service provider.

[source]

 

 

Market statistics

Summary

Latvia’s communications market has evolved with more operators entering the market following market liberalisation. The fixed-line sector is still dominated by the incumbent, which remains majority owned by the government. Lack of competition in the wholesale broadband access market has been largely attributed to the lack of unbundling agreements although the situation improved in 2005, with a number of unbundling agreements in place. The cable operators also offer broadband services over their networks, and Fibre-to-the-Home networks are being deployed by alternative operators.

[source]

  

Geography
Area: total: 64,589 sq km Land: 62,249 sq km Water: 2,340 sq km
Cities: capital - Riga
Terrain: low plain
Climate: maritime; wet, moderate winters

 

People
Nationality: noun: Latvian(s) adjective: Latvian
Population: 2,204,708 (July 2011 est.)
Annual population growth rate: -0.597% (2011 est.)
Language: Latvian (official) 58.2%, Russian 37.5%, Lithuanian and other 4.3% (2000 census)

Flag: images.jpg

 

Government
Type: parliamentary democracy
Independence: 4 May 1990 (declared); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union)
Constitution: 15 February 1922; restored to force by the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Latvia adopted by the Supreme Council 21 August 1991; multiple amendments since
Branches: Chief of state: President Valdis Zatlers; head of government: Prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis; cabinet: Cabinet of ministers nominated by the prime minister and appointed by parliment

Political parties: All For Latvia!; Civic Union; First Party of Latvia/Latvia's Way or LPP/LC; For a Good Latvia; For Human Rights in a United Latvia or PCTVL; For the Fatherland and Freedom/Latvian National Independence Movement or TB/LNNK; Harmony Center or SC; National Alliance; New Era Party or JL; People's Party or TP; Society for Different Politics or SCP; The Union of Latvian Greens and Farmers Party or ZZS; Unity bloc
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal for Latvian citizens

 

Economy
GDP:  $32.51 billion (2010 est.)
GDP per capita: $14,700 (2010 est.)
Annual GDP growth rate: -0.3% (2010 est.)
Natural resources: peat, limestone, dolomite, amber, hydropower, timber, arable land
Agriculture: grain, rapeseed, potatoes, vegetables; pork, poultry, milk, eggs; fish
Industry: processed foods, processed wood products, textiles, processed metals, pharmaceuticals, railroad cars, synthetic fibers, electronics
Trade: Export - Lithuania 15.19%, Estonia 13.57%, Russia 13.17%, Germany 8.13%, Sweden 5.7% (2009)

[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)↓  
 Europe  1503.4  66.7  2,255  5259.84  15991.5  99.5  2243  
[source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source]  

 

Currency

The lats (plural: lati,  code: LVL) is the currency of Latvia. It is abbreviated as Ls. The lats is sub-divided into 100 santīmi.

LVL in £GBP

LVL in $USD

LVL in €EUR

 

Further Information

For a detailed summary of the communications market in Latvia 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 dedicated short code, you will need to complete a txtNation Customer Care Form (CCF). The typical time for service approval form feedback for dedicated codes is on average 1 - 3 weeks and the typical time to get live once your CCF has been approved is roughly 6 - 8 weeks.

 

Promotional Guidelines

As per section 1.2 of Service Operations Requirements in the Latvian Service Guidelines.

The Content provider ensures the possibility for the User to communicate with the Content provider on Working hours, by calling telephone number of the Users’ attendance indicated by the Content provider and registered in the Republic of Latvia, which is not a higher charge telephone number. The Users’ attendance shall take place in the Latvian language. The Content provider replies to Users’ questions and/or Claims in 1 (one) working days’ time in respect to all Services that has been rendered to the respective User.

 

As per section 2.1 of Advertising and Promotional Rules in the Latvian Service Guidelines.

The Content provider in its sale channels provides the information on the Service, its essence, the order of the Service purchase and Service charges, as well as the information on the Content provider itself, namely, the name of the Content provider, Internet address, where the information on the Content provider and its Services, e-mail and telephone number of User’s attendance is accessible. The information in the Internet sales channels shall be easily found, by placing it on the same page, where the User applies for the Service so as the User should not carry out a scrolling of the Internet page in order to read the whole information. The Content provider provides the information on the Service in the Latvian language. If the Service is meant for the Users - foreigners, then the Content provider additionally to the information in the Latvian language provides the information on the Services in a respective language.

 

As per section 2.2 of Advertising and Promotional Rules in the Latvian Service Guidelines.

In the sales channels the information on the order of the purchasing of the Service and the Service charge shall be at least in 10 font size, clearly legible without serifs. Letters shall stand out from the background so that the text shall be easily legible, understood and perceivable. The Service charges should be indicated in figures beside the respective Code in the same symbol size. The arrangement of the text must be horizontal. The Content provider shall inform the User for additional charges that can be calculated by receiving a respective Service (for example, SMS sending or use of data transmission service).

 

As per section 2.3 through to 2.11 of Advertising and Promotional Rules in the Latvian Service Guidelines.

The Content provider may send SMS or MMS to the User in the framework of the Service plan “SMS channel” or activated free sending possibilities, if there is a confirmation of the User to receive the Service of the Content provider in a different form (registration on the Internet page, written application etc.).

 

The Service promoted in advertising and informative materials shall correspond to the substance of the Service received by the User, and the advertising materials may not render deceitful information on the Service.

 

The Users’ attendance telephone, the activity of which is ensured in accordance with the order defined in Paragraph 2.2 of the Service Guidelines and an e-mail address should be indicated in the advertising and informative materials, as well as the Content provider should be clearly identified (in case a Content provider allows to use its Code to other companies).

 

Printed advertising materials and Internet selling channels shall contain the information that when applying to the respective Subscription service of the Content provider, the User agrees to receive it for number of times indicated by the Content provider in the period of time indicated by the Content provider, paying for every time to the Content provider the determined charge. The information shall be at least in 10 font size, clearly legible without serifs. Letters shall stand out from the background so that the text shall be easily legible and perceivable.

 

The printed advertising materials and Internet selling channels shall contain the information on how via SMS to obtain the information to which Services the User has applied for. The information shall be at least in 10 font size, clearly legible without serifs. Letters shall stand out from the background so that the text shall be easily legible and perceivable.

 

The printed advertising materials and the Internet selling channels shall contain the information how to terminate the Subscription service. If the Content provider offers several Subscription services, where every one of them has a different stop SMS text, then all stop SMS texts shall be indicated. The information shall be at least in 10 font size, clearly legible without serifs. Letters shall stand out from the background so that the text shall be easily legible and perceivable.

 

The printed advertising materials and the Internet selling channels shall contain the User’s attendance telephone number and e-mail address. The information shall be at least in 10 font size, clearly legible without serifs. Letters shall stand out from the background in order the text shall be easily legible and perceivable.

 

TV advertisements shall provide home page addresses and a visible demonstration of the user’s attendance telephone number in TV screen for at least 5 seconds, and a transmission of the information of refusal from the Service - also for at least 5 seconds. The text demonstration – horizontal. The font – easily legible, without serifs. TV advertisements shall provide these notifications in the height of at least 15 pixels.

 

The Service advertisements may not be in conflict with existing normative acts of the Republic of Latvia, the advertisements may not cause a moral or physical harm to the under aged and they should correspond to protection criteria of the under aged, besides, the Services that contain an information harmful for Children, are advertised or offered in time, place and form that most possibly protects the under aged from the receipt of Services that contain information harmful for Children.

 

As per the Summary section of the Latvian Service Guidelines.

A Service provider performing the promotion activities of the services of the restrictive mobile content, shall follow the following requirements:

  • The service provider on its internet and WAP pages must have an introductory page, where the users, in accordance with the order set forth by the laws, must verify their age and be warned regarding the content of the contained information.
  • The Service provider, when advertising its service in any kind of mass media or to other persons, shall not have the right to mention the mobile operator names and (or) show their brand marks.
  • The Service provider, when advertising its service in any kind of mass media or other persons, shall clearly specify that the advertised services are meant for a particular age group, and require the users to verify their age, in accordance with the order set forth by the legal acts.

 

Messages Flow Requirements 

As per section 1 of Service Operations Requirements of the Latvian Service Guidelines.

The Content provider provides for the user a free of charge response SMS sending to the request SMS “Info” of “I”, containing the following information:

  • The Content provider’s name.
  • Internet address.
  • Where the information on the Content provider and its Services is accessible.
  • Telephone number of Users’ attendance and E-mail is accessible.

 

As per section 1.3 through to 1.4 of Service Operations Requirements of the Latvian Service Guidelines.

The Content provider has no right to offer Services that contain Illegal information.

 

In a case where the content of the Service is an access information for the Service that contains harmful information for children in WAP, Internet or other environment, then in this kind of environment, where the Services that contain harmful information for children are accessible, it is the Service provider’s duty is to ensure the age fixation by putting a question about the User’s age and permit an access to the Service only after the confirmation has been received that the User is grown up.

 

As per section 3.1 through to 3.1.10 of Requirements for Subscriptions Services in the Latvian Service Guidelines.

In case of Subscription services, in addition to the requirements provided above, the Content provider shall respect the following requirements:

 

In respect to the Subscription services the Content provider has a duty to clearly indicate that a respective service is a Subscription service. If an application for the Subscription service shall be performed via SMS, the word “subscription” shall be placed before a respective Code.

 

The following shall be clearly indicated in advertising and informative materials of the Subscription service of the Content provider:

  • A subscription period.
  • The Services and/or the Content that will be accessible to the User in the framework of the Subscription service.
  • A charge for subscription on the Subscription services.
  • A clear indication that it is a Subscription service (by indicating a service with an adjective “subscription”) and that prolongation of a subscription term will take place automatically.
  • As well as an order shall be indicated as to how the User can terminate the Subscription services.

In cases the quantity of SMS/MMS and/or a total price may not be defined in advance, the Content provider should pay the User’s attention as to such risk of an increase of SMS/MMS and the Service charge.

 

After the application to the Subscription service of the Content provider, the Content provider sends to the User a free of charge SMS containing the following information on the Subscription service of the Content provider:

  • How often the User will receive the Content of the Subscription service of the Content provider.
  • How much will it cost for the user to receive every time the content of the subscription service or in total the content of the received.
  • Subscription service in a definite period of time.
  • The contact information of the content provider.
  • Instructions how to stop a subscription service.

The information on the Subscription service of the Content provider mentioned in this Paragraph is sent to the User via SMS, by which the Service content is sent, or in an additional SMS which is free of charge for the User.

 

When a regular subscription period of the Subscription service is renewed, the Content provider sends to the User a free of charge SMS containing the information mentioned in section 3.1.4, additionally indicating the name of the respective Service and the charge for the respective Subscription service. The mentioned SMS is sent by the Content provider from 9.00 till 21.00. If the User subscribes for more than one Subscription services, then the Content provider sends such informative SMS for every one of them.

 

The Content provider shall provide a check box (not checked) where the User should opt-in to complete the activation of the Subscription service, thus confirming a familiarization of the Rules of the Service provision and willingness to apply to the Subscription services.

 

After the completion of the application to the Subscription service of the Content provider in the selling channel where the User accomplished the registration, the Content provider shall reflect the information on accomplishment of a successful registration to the Subscription service.

 

The billing shall take place once for the charge indicated in informative/advertising materials of the Subscription service. It is forbidden to bill the User simultaneously for several billing periods or a retrogressive period, only for a coming period, as well as it is forbidden to bill a partial charge. In the framework of the Subscription service, in case of unsuccessful billing the Content provider may perform a repeated billing attempt for a subscription period indicated in the Service description submitted by the Content provider to the Operator, till the beginning of the next subscription period, but no more frequently than once in 24 (twenty four) hours’ time period.

 

If the User uses one or more Subscription services, then the Content provider can provide a separate stop command for each Subscription service, but the Content provider shall ensure the availability of the universal command “STOP”, after the receipt of which from the User, the Content provider shall stop the rendering of all Subscription services of the Content provider, that are supplied by using the Code, to which the User’s order “STOP” is received. In addition to that the Content provider is entitled to offer also other forms of refusal from the Subscription services (for example, via e-mail or calling the client attendance telephone).

 

In case an application to the Subscription service is performed by purchasing another Service or Content of the Content provider, then this shall be indicated in advertising and informative materials. If a charge is applied to every of these Services, then this shall be clearly identified in advertising and informative materials. The Content provider shall ensure the User the possibility to refuse such a Subscription service without any limitation or additional conditions already in the first week of use of the respective Service. No charge may be applied for the refusal of the Subscription service.

 

Service Types

As per the Summary section of the Latvian Service Guidelines.

Restrictive mobile content service - the service of mobile content, which provides the information restricted by the legal acts of Latvia. The restrictive information is as follows:

  • The information which has detrimental effect on the physical, psychical and moral development of the minors.
  • The information pertaining to showing of physical and psychological violence and modelling of criminal acts; the information where killing, injuring or torturing of people or animals is showed in detail, as well as vandalism, positively treated violence, indulgence of violence or cruelty.
  • The information, which positively treats criminal acts or idealize criminals.
  • The information pertaining to erotic or sexual behaviour of human beings, which encourages sexual desire, shows sexual intercourse, its simulation or any other sexual satisfaction, the private parts of human body, sex accessories, except for the cases when such information is attributed to pornography, which is forbidden.
  • The information, which shows dead or injured people (except for the cases when this is necessary to identify the person).
  • The information, which provokes fear and horror, promotes self injury or suicide.
  • The information, where obscene sayings, words or gestures are used.
  • The information positively treating addiction to narcotic, psychotropic substances, tobacco or alcohol, where the consumption, production, distribution or purchase of the mentioned is encouraged.
  • Other information limited by the legal acts of Latvia.

Illegal mobile content service - a mobile content service, which provides the information forbidden by the legal acts of the Republic of Latvia, for example:

  • Information containing pornography (including the information showing sexual relations with children (paedophilia), animals, sexual relations between persons of the same sex, one-man sex).
  • Data beyond reality, which might damage dignity of a person.
  • The information the purpose of which is to sneer at a person, a group of persons, to insult them, to defame, to damage the name of a legal person, to disdain, to encourage the hatred towards them or discriminate because of sex, sexual orientation, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, beliefs, creed, opinion or other reasons.
  • The information, which infringes the intellectual property rights of other persons, the privacy of a person, personal data protection and other rights protected by the legal acts of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
  • The information which fuels the military conflict, hatred towards any national, origin, disabled, racial, sexual orientation or any other type of a group.
  • The information, which relates to criminal acts or any other violations of the law, discloses personal data of a minor, which is not hiding from the law and order institutions or the court, suspected of commitment of criminal acts or suffered from other violations of the law, and according to which it is possible to identify the personality of the minor.
  • The information disclosing the data of the minor, which injured self or attempted to do that, committed suicide or attempted suicide, which makes it possible to identify the personality of the minor.
  • The information which derogates dignity of the minor and (or) violates his/her interests by presenting the data about the minor.
  • The information presenting opinions and judgements of the minors, as well as their photos or filmed media about them, abusing the trust and inexperience of the minors, in the background of negative social phenomena.
  • Advertising forbidden by the legal acts of Latvia.
  • Other information forbidden by the legal acts Latvia.

 

The following services are available in Latvia:

  • Traditional mobile content.
  • Micro payments.
  • Online and multi-player games.
  • Mobile communities.
  • Chat and dating.
  • TV and radio interactivity.

 Donations and charity service can be run via Premium SMS (PSMS) but you need approval from the operators as they fall under a separate agreement.

 

Adult is possible in Latvia, this requires operator approval.

  • Adult services in general are allowed, with imagery up to the "level" of full frontal nudity. You may not have images that depict sexual acts, or suggest them. With male images you should avoid fully erect penises.

 

Billing Types

We operate Mobile Terminated (MT) billed line on dedicated lines in Latvia. See forum entry "What are the SMS billing types available?" for more information on these billing types.

As per section 1.5 of Service Operations Requirements of the Latvian Service Guidelines.

In case of unsuccessful billing the content provider may perform the repeated billing attempts for the service in 24 (twenty four) hours time.

  

Available Tariffs

The current available tariffs in Latvia are as follows:

LVL 3.08, LVL 2.05, LVL 0.950,  LVL 0.41

For a more up to date list of tariffs, ask your Account Manager for a Latvian Premium SMS Rate Card.

 

Short codes and Keywords

On our dedicated code in Latvia, we operate on a 4 digit shortcode for each carrier. Adult content is possible with the activation of an adult short code. 

 

Frequency and Amounts

There is no limit to the amount of messages sent per day/week/month in Latvia. However you must convey the exact frequency and number of messages that will be sent and your service will be evaluated to ensure you are delivering value for money. 

 

Tax

The current Latvian 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 7 - 11 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 Latvia on our txtNation Gateway.

 

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

  • Premium SMS (P-SMS) including Short Code services

Additional options for Mobile Payments and Messaging in Latvia 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 Latvia of a change or update in regulations. There may be a latest version of Premium SMS, Mobile Payments or Short Code Regulations in Latvia Please contact your account manager for more information.

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