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Netherlands - Premium SMS, Short Code Requirements

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


Regulator

govcertgallery-thumbnail.png Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority (OPTA) 

 

The Onafhankelijke Post en Telecommunicatie Autoriteit (OPTA, "Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority") is an independent Dutch government agency charged with enforcing Dutch law on telecommunication, post and cable TV services. The agency has its head office in The Hague. The reason behind its creation in 1997 was to ensure competitiveness on the newly open Dutch market for telephony and other telecom activities. Before, KPN had a monopoly on the Dutch market, but after deregulation, other companies entered this market as well. To prevent KPN from pushing the others out of the market because of its might and sheer size, OPTA was created.

[source]

 

Carriers

tmobile-logo.gif T-Mobile

T-Mobile International AG is a German-based holding company for Deutsche Telekom AG's various mobile communications subsidiaries outside Germany. Based in Bonn, Germany, its subsidiaries operate GSM and UMTS-based cellular networks in Europe, the United States,Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The company has financial stakes in mobile operators in both Central and Eastern Europe.

[source

 

KPN.PNGKPN

KPN (in full Koninklijke KPN N.V., also Royal KPN N.V.) is a Dutch landline and mobile telecommunications company, including both 2Gand 3G mobile operations. The company is based in The Hague. n the Dutch telephone market, KPN is the owner of the fixed telephone operations (FLO) network and is the market leader in mobile network operator (MNO), with the brands KPN Mobile and Telfort and as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) under the brand names Simyo, Ay Yildiz, Ortel Mobile and Hi.

[source]

 

vodafone_logo.png Vodafone

Vodafone Netherlands, part of the Vodafone Group is the third largest mobile phone company in the Netherlands, and was previously called Libertel. The mobile phone system uses GSM 900 and GSM 1800. It offers 2G GSM, 2.5G GPRS, 3G UMTS 3.5G HSDPA and3.75G HSPA+ with a maximum speed of 28Mbit/s in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam, other city's were scheduled to get an update during the summer of 2010.

[source]

 

TELE2.PNGTele2

Tele2 Netherlands Holding N.V. (formerly Versatel Telecom International N.V) is a listed telecommunications company operating on the Dutch and Belgian market. It has more than 1,900 employees and over 1 million customers. Tele2 from Sweden owns over 75% of the shares. The company has a product portfolio of fixed telephony, data, internet and mobile telephony products.

[source]

 

Market Statistics

Summary

The Dutch have adopted mobile phones enthusiastically. Mobile penetration breached 100% in 2005, and annual growth remains at a respectable 16%. SMS is by far the most popular data service with many innovations. I-Mode is also available, though only offered by the incumbent KPN. Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile also operate in The Netherlands, while O2’s operation was bought out by venture capitalists in 2003 and rebranded as Telfort. All the operators run GSM networks; five 3G licences were auctioned in July 2000 with services launched by KPN and Vodafone in 2004. This report provides statistics on the Dutch mobile market in 2005 and early 2006, including a review of the key operators, and an analysis of regulatory issues and mobile data services such as SMS, MMS and i-mode. It also examines the latest developments in high-speed mobile technologies in the Dutch market.

[source]

Geography
Area: Total: 41,543 sq km Land: 33,893 sq km Water: 7,650 sq km
Cities: AMSTERDAM (capital) 1.044 million; Rotterdam 1.008 million; The Hague (seat of government) 629,000 (2009)
Terrain: mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in south-east
Climate: temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters

 

People
Nationality: Noun: Dutchman(men), Dutchwoman(women) Adjective: Dutch
Population: 16,847,007 (July 2011 est.)
Annual population growth rate: 0.371% (2011 est.)
Language: Dutch (official), Frisian (official)
Flag: Netherlands-flag.jpg

 

Government
Type: constitutional monarchy
Independence: 23 January 1579 
Constitution: adopted 1815; amended many times, most recently in 2002
Branches: chief of state: Queen BEATRIX; Heir Apparent WILLEM-ALEXANDER, son of the monarch; head of government: Prime Minister Mark RUTTE; Deputy Prime Minister Maxime VERHAGEN; cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
Political parties: Christian Democratic Appeal; Christian Union; Democrats 66; Green Left; Labor Party; Party for Freedom; Party for the Animals; People's Party for Freedom and Democracy; Reformed Political Party; Socialist Party; plus a few minor parties
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Economy
Nominal GDP: $676.9 billion (2010 est.)
GDP per capita: $40,300 (2010 est.)
Annual GDP growth rate: 1.7% (2010 est.)
Natural resources: natural gas, petroleum, peat, limestone, salt, sand and gravel, arable land
Agriculture: grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, vegetables; livestock
Industry: agro-industries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing
Trade: Export - Germany 26%, Belgium 13%, France 9.2%, UK 7.7%, Italy 4.9% (2010) Import - Germany 15.5%, China 12.6%, Belgium 8.3%, US 6.8%, UK 6.2%, Russia 5.6% (2010)

[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 subscribers per 100 inhab.↓ Total number of mobile subscribers (thousands)↓
Europe 14,872 90.0 16,531 $47,172 $783293000 128.1 21,182
[source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source]

 

Currency

The euro (sign: €; code: EUR) is the official currency of the Netherlands. The euro is divided into 100 cents.

10 €EUR in £GBP

10 €EUR in $USD

 

Approval Process

As part of the application process for a short code, you will need to complete a txtNation Customer Care Form (CCF). The typical time it takes to receive your service approval form feedback is 1 week and it takes on average 6 - 8 weeks to get live once your CCF has been evaluated.

Registration required -

A change occurred on the 1st of August 2014 all Content Providers who are active in the Dutch market have to register with the Foundation. For your information a Content Provider is everyone which provides services in the Netherlands who get paid with Premium SMS or MCB. This means you or your client must register via the special registration link http://login.payinfo.nl. The foundation will charge an annual fee for the registration. The amount of the fee will be decided by the board of the foundation every year. This year (2014) the annual fee is €200.

The registration is valid for both SMS and Mobile Internet Services. If a Content Provider is not subscribed to the foundation on the 23rd of October 2014, he can not provide services in the Netherlands from that date. Registration must be completed before any services are launched.

  

Promotional Guidelines

For detailed information on the rules in the Netherlands, please visit the

> SMS Service Provision Code of Conduct or 

> The SMS Service Provision Advertising Code.

 

> The logo must be listed on the promotion for all services operating in the Netherlands.

The provider of the service is obliged to display, in every advertisement on TV, in print, or on the Internet – the fixed logo included in Appendix 3 and downloadable from www.smsgedragscode.nl. The logo must be positioned to the top left or top right in every advertisement and must be fully visible without it being necessary to scroll the web page.

ONE-TIME LOGO

'One-Off' must be indicated in the upper half of the logo, in the lower half it must have the cost per item or per chat. 

 

SUBSCRIPTION LOGO

'Subscription' must be indicated in the upper half of the logo, in the lower half, it must have the costs per week or per month. 

 

The ratio between the above-mentioned upper and lower halves must be 1:1; no deviation from this ratio is permissible. The general lay-out will be as shown in Figure 1 below. The ratio of length to height is fixed (5:3); no deviation from this ratio is permissible. The minimum length is 30 mm and the minimum height is 18 mm. In the case of print advertising in a format larger than A4, the above-mentioned size of the logo will be proportionately larger the larger the format of the print advertising. In the case of print advertising smaller than A4 format, the minimum size will apply as stimulated above.

The logo is not obligatory if the medium used for the advertisement is unsuitable for placing a logo, as in the case of a radio commercial or televoting (‘televoting’ is a One-Off Service with a means of voting in which an End User can give his/her opinion remotely during a television broadcast by means of an SMS message).

> There must be a link to the smsgedragscode (http://www.payinfo.nl/gedragscodes) on the website. 

 

 

Messages Flow Requirements

As per Article 9 (Subscription Services) of Start of SMS Service in the Code of Conduct:

The initial registration for a Subscription Service may be effected either via (mobile) internet or by mobile telephone.

Before a Subscription Service commences, the End User should register, should have received a confirmation of registration and should subsequently have confirmed the initial registration as referred to in paragraph 1. This latter confirmation will be considered to have been made if, following his or her receipt of the confirmation of registration referred to in Article 11 of this Code of Conduct, the End User actively sends an SMS message from the mobile telephone to which the messages are to be sent, containing:

  • For Shared Short Codes: <keywords> and <OK/JA> to the <Short Code>
  • For Unique Short Codes: the word <OK/JA> to the <Short Code>

As per Article 11 of Confirmation of Registration in the Code of Conduct:

In the event of a registration for a Subscription Service, a message confirming the registration will always be sent to the End User by means of a free SMS message.

The confirmation of registration to the End User will consist of one SMS message, will not contain any extra space between lines and will always start with the following aspects, in the order determined in the third paragraph of this Article: the service/service name, the description of the nature of the service, the rate (total costs per content item, per week or per month), the short code, the frequency (the maximum number of messages or content items per day, per week or per month), the word abonnement 'subscription' the procedure for un-subscribing and a reference to the help desk information (for instance: the website, 0900- number or teletext page containing the relevant background information). The SMS Service Provider or Content Provider will be entitled to use abbreviations in the confirmation of registration only if such are listed as approved abbreviations in Annex 2 to the Code of Conduct.

The order of the text of the confirmation of registration is and will remain as follows, on the understanding that sub-paragraph a or f may be left out:

  • Call to action, which describes the act to be performed by the End User, such as 'now answer OK to 1234'
  • The name and the nature of the SMS Service, logically and unambiguously linked to the fact that the Service involves a subscription. For instance: 'ABCD is a ringtone subscription' or 'for your ABCD ringtone subscription'. The  word 'subscription' should always be mentioned here;
  • Information on the price and the frequency, which states unambiguously which costs will be involved in the SMS Service on a weekly basis, as well as the number of content/credit items that will be received on a weekly basis, for instance: €6/wk, 4 items/wk. If payment for content is made on a monthly basis, the price and the number of content/credit items should be specified on a monthly basis. There must be a punctuation mark between the price statement and the frequency notification; If registration costs or similar costs apply, the type of costs must be written out in full, including the price statement, and the costs for the first week (or month) and following weeks (or months) must be stated separately;
  • Information on the helpdesk, by at least providing the appropriate website or teletext page; In the case of a website, the statement must always start with www.;
  • Information on unsubscribing, by describing the act to be performed by the End User in order to unsubscribe from the SMS service, for instance: 'stop? Text stop to 1234.'
  • Call to action, which describes the act to be performed by the End User, such as 'now text OK to 1234'.

The confirmation of registration must always be clear and understandable for the End User. The confirmation of registration may therefore not be one long, consecutive sentence. This means that components b, c, d and e above should be separated by a punctuation mark, so that it is clear to the End User that they are separate components of the confirmation of registration. It follows from the above that, by way of an example, the following confirmation of registration may be considered in compliance with the provisions of this Article:

"Now tetx OK to 1234 for your subscription to ABCD ringtones. 3 items/wk, €6/wk. Info? www.xyz.nl. Want to unsubscribe? Text STOP to 1234. Now text OK to 1234"

Irrespective of the price of the service and in accordance with Article 9 of this Code of Conduct, the confirmation of registration for the Subscription Service following the End User's registration should request the active consent through a free SMS MT message which should be answered, which should also contain the information listed in paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article; this is the re-confirmation of the End User's wish to actually purchase/commence the service in question.

If the End User does not actively consent in accordance with Article 9, the Subscription Service will not be commenced, rendering it impossible to register through 'tacit consent'.

It is not permitted to send a reminder SMS to the End User if the End User has not sent OK/JA after receiving the confirmation of registration.

If the End User does actively consent (by sending OK or JA) in according with Article 9, the Subscription Service will be commenced and the End User will receive a welcome message.

If the content delivery takes place via WAP Push and therefore also via SMS, the welcome message must contain at least two of the following sentence: 'Your product is being sent in two ways as to guarantee you receive your product visibly on your phone.'

In order to inform End Users of the costs, after the start of a Subscription Service, free information SMS messages must be sent by Content Provider:

  • For each service and as soon DV¼ 50 in costs has been incurred during the first calendar month following registration, the End User must receive ± once and free of charge - the following information message:
"Free Message: you are using subscription service 1234. The total cost is now €50. Info? www.smsgc.nl"
 
  • On the last day of the calendar month or the first day of the next following month, the End User will then receive the following free message if more than €50 in costs has been incurred during the calendar month concerned: 
"Free Message: you are using subscription service 1234. The cost of this service is € x per week. Info? www.smsgc.nl"
 
  • On the last day of the first calendar month or the first day of the next following month following registration, an End User who has subscribed for the service must receive the following free information message:

"Free Message: you are using the subscription service 1234. The cost of this service is € x per week. Info? www.smsgc.nl"

The message referred to above will not apply if the free information message has already been sent on the basis of the notification referred to above.

 

As per Article 8 of Communication of Rates for One-Off SMS Services in the Code of Conduct:

For chat services, the following applies:

- A free welcome message is obligatory. The order of the text in the welcome message must always be as follows:

  • The nature of the SMS Service: logically and unambiguously state that a chat service is concerned. The word 'chat' should be mentioned here;
  • Information on the price and the frequency, which states unambiguously what costs will be involved in the chat service (total premium costs for one MO Message sent), as well as the number of messages that will be received per chat. The above must be indicated as follows: €3 / chat, send 1 is receive max. 2. €1 / chat send 1 is receive 1. There must be a punctuation mark between the price statement and the number of messages to be received;
  •  Information on the helpdesk, by at least providing the appropriate website. The statement must always start with www.;
  • Information on unsubscribing, by stating that no action is necessary to unsubscribe.

The welcome message must always be clear and understandable for the End User. The welcome message may therefore not be one long, consecutive sentence. This means that components 1, 2, 3 and 4 above should be separated by a punctuation mark, so that it is clear to the End User that they are separate components of the welcome message. 

It follows from the above that the following welcome message may be considered in compliance with the provisions of this Article and should therefore be used:

"Welcome to the SMS chat, €1.50 / chat, send 1 is receive 1. Info? www.xyz.nl Stop? Don't send a message."

  • After a period of one (1) month of inactivity on the chat service, the End User must receive the welcome message again after the first MO Message that he/she sends in.
  • A maximum of two Premium SMS MT messages may be sent for each SMS MO message.
  • The Content Provider may send a total maximum of four (Premium) SMS MT messages within any 72-hour period following the most recent MO message sent by the End User, as long as the maximum number of Premium SMS MT messages per SMS MO message is not exceeded. After this 72-hour period, no (Premium) SMS MT messages may be sent, unless the service is newly initiated by the End User by sending an MO message.

In order to inform End Users of the costs, after the start of a chat service, free information SMS messages must be sent by the Content Provider:

  • For each chat service and as soon as €50 in costs has been incurred during the first calendar month after the start of the service, the End User must receive - once and free of charge - the following information message:

"Free Message: You are using chat service 1234. The cost of this service is € x per chat. Send 1 is receive 1 (or 2). Info? www.smsgc.nl

  • On the last day of the calendar month or the first day of the next following month, the End User will receive the following free information message if more than €50 in costs has been incurred during the calendar month concerned and the End User sent an MO message less than 72 hours previously: 
"Free message: You are using chat service 1234. The cost for this service is € x per chat. Send 1 is receive 1 (or 2). Info? www.smsgc.nl
 
  • On the last day of the calendar month or the first day of the next following month after the start of the chat service, the End User will receive the following free information message if the End User sent an MO message less than 72 hours previously: 
"Free message: You are using chat service 1234. The cost for this service is € x per chat. Send 1 is receive 1 (or 2). Info? www.smsgc.nl
 

The message referred to above will not apply if the free information message has already been sent on the basis of the notification referred to above.

If the content delivery takes place via WAP Push and therefore also via SMS, the End User must be informed of this in an SMS message that contains at least the following sentence: 'Your product is being sent in 2 ways so as to guarantee that you receive your product visibility on your mobile phone. Info? www.smsgc.nl

 

Service Types

Most service types are allowed, however some require approvals from the networks and others require licenses from the appropriate authority.

 

Billing Types

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

  

Re-try Billing

If the subscription is weekly, you can re-try failed messages for no longer than one week. For the detailed restrictions, refer to the Code of Conduct.

 

Short codes and Keywords

On our dedicated code in the Netherlands, we operate on a 4 digit short code for each carrier. Golden numbers are available in the Netherlands, please ask your account manager for more details.

 

Tax

The current the Netherlands 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 8 - 9 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 the Netherlands via the txtNation Gateway.

 

The Netherlands have 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 the Netherlands 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 the Netherlands of a change or update in regulations. There may be a latest version of Premium SMS, Mobile Payments or Short Code Regulations in the Netherlands. Please contact your account manager for more information.

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