ICP revokes registration of audiotext provider

/ Updated on 24.01.2008

The Instituto das Comunicações de Portugal (ICP) revoked the registration of audiotext provider Alcazar Telecomunicações, Lda as a result of the latter's failure to comply with customer information requirements and other requirements established in applicable legislation. The provider is thus no longer authorised to provide audiotext services, commonly known as value added services.

The company in question provided audiotext services via Internet sites, in a manner that harmed user rights and interests upheld by law, namely the right to a free and informed choice of services.

As a result of inspection of several situations denounced to ICP by users, and after due verification of the situation, it was decided to revoke the right of access to the business activity and recover the numbering resources allocated to Alcazar Telecomunicações, Lda. Instructions were given to Portugal Telecom to immediately bar access to the audiotext numbers operated by this provider. As a result, this provider's 601, 607, 608, 646 and 648 numbers are recovered, as well as the respective identification code - 69.

This provider offered audiotext services in the sites "loveball.pt" and "clubedesexo.pt". The user was given the possibility to access content via these sites, by downloading a computer programme that after storage in the computer's hard disk, established a telephone connection to one of two audiotext numbers: 648 9 69 300 and 648 9 69 015.

None of these situations complied with two legally binding user information requirements: inclusion of an oral message stating the service's cost and characteristics; and inclusion of a sound signal, audible once per minute, intended to indicate the duration of the call.

The same computing programme, provided by Alcazar Telecomunicações, Lda automatically substituted, without prior notice, the user's connection to his Internet service provider (ISP) by a connection to one of the above mentioned audiotext numbers, starting with the 648 prefix code. In so doing, the provider enabled access to other Internet sites, with content other than that attributed to the 648 prefix code (erotic and sexual services). Thus the prefix code did not correspond to the type of service provided, in breach of the law.

In regards to the audiotext service provided via the site "portugalmovel.com", which revealed similar characteristics and motivated corrective measures by ICP, an inspection has revealed that the service has now been suspended.


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