Ericsson fined $100,000 for billing unwanted SMS services

Ericsson Telecommunications, the content arm of Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson, has been fined $100,000 for billing a customer here for premium-rate SMS services that he had not signed up for.

This is the highest fine levied since stiffer penalties were introduced earlier this year to deal with a rising number of complaints against companies that send unsolicited premium-rate text messages, including those that peddle ringtones and games.

The customer had complained to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), which found that he was using a ‘recycled’ mobile number someone else had given up in May last year.

When a subscriber cancels his mobile line, the number is rendered inactive or ‘quarantined’ for three months, before his telco can re-issue it to someone else.

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