New Guidelines to Regulate Mobile Content Services

Press release
4 minute read
Telenor Norway, its Danish subsidiary Sonofon and several other mobile providers have signed an extensive framework agreement for mobile content services. Special attention is paid to the protection of minors.

Consumer protection measures

The framework agreement applies to mobile premium-rate services (SMS, MMS and WAP) provided through mobile operators' content provision platforms. An additional code of practice concerning the protection of minors against for instance pornographic material and other forms of content was set up with the collaboration of the Office of the Consumer Ombudsman.

Unsuitable content services

The Guidelines prohibit marketing towards minors of content services that are unsuitable for their age. This, for instance, applies to services with frightening, violent, erotic/pornographic or similar services.

Prevent overspending by minors

The Guidelines also contain provisions to prevent overspending by minors. For premium rate services aimed at children and youngsters under 18, a relatively low monthly payment limit - currently at 1000 NOK + VAT - has been set. On subscription-based services the limit was set at 100 NOK.

Telenor provides a lockout control system whereby subscriptions belonging to minors can be barred by their parents or guardian from ordering and/or receiving premium rate services. From a barred subscription it is not possible to access any content services that are provided over Telenor's content provision platform.

Telenor is currently developing an age verification solution for adult and subscription-based content services provided over the content provision platform.

Sonofon in a self-regulatory scheme

In Denmark, Sonofon participates in a self-regulatory scheme substantiated in a code of conduct applicable to mobile premium rate services to which all mobile operators are a party (Framework Agreement4).

Based on the Framework Agreement, Sonofon applies strict controls on content. It is possible to bar any subscription from receiving premium rate services by a simple phone call to customer service. A specific short code range (16xx) is allocated for premium rate services containing adult material, which are put behind an access control mechanism. The framework agreement contains guidelines on what constitutes adult content. Based on these guidelines content providers must classify content items. However, this number range has not yet been opened up, i.e. at the moment no such services are provided by any of the mobile operators in Denmark.

Content restrictions in Hungary

Pannon in Hungary also provides the possibility to bar premium rate services. Content available on Pannon's portal is subject to company standards, which place restrictions on the types of content provided (e.g. prohibit nudity). To adult content provided over the content provider platform, Pannon applies warning messages, notifying users that they must be over 18 to view the pages.


Framework agreement for mobile content services
Content guidelines for Framework agreement for mobile content services