Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA)

The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) was launched on 26 August 2004 in Sandown, Gauteng with the full support of Cell C, MTN and Vodacom.

As well as representing the interests of WASPA’s members, WASPA play a key role in regulating the provision of mobile applications and services in South Africa. WASPA has a detailed Code of Conduct which all members of the Association must adhere to, and a well established formal complaints process. WASPA employs full time staff to monitor the services provided by its members and to handle complaints about WASP services lodged by members of the public.

WASPA was initially formed in 2004 as a voluntary self-regulatory body with a remit of representing and self-regulating mobile-based value added services providers, otherwise known as WASPs.

It now has over 300 members, and membership of an industry body with a recognised Code of Conduct has been made compulsory by Telkom Mobile, Cell C, MTN and Vodacom for all WASPs.

WASPA’s Code of Conduct and Advertising rules were developed and implemented in 2005. It has developed a complaints handling process to enforce these rules that is totally independent of the WASPA Management Committee. Anyone may lodge a complaint and each complainant is given a reference number.

Complaints are handled by an independent secretariat who process complaints using a mandated civil procedure scheme, while some 13 independent ICT lawyers and a 3-person appeals panel of ICT lawyers adjudicate the complaints lodged with the secretariat. An emergency panel of three WASPA adjudicators may sit to shut down services pending a formal adjudication where there is evidence of immediate and ongoing consumer harm.

These lawyers may adjudicate on any matter related to the WASPA Code of Conduct where a complaint has been lodged. All completed adjudications are posted publically on the WASPA web site. The adjudicators may sanction any infraction, which may include fines, suspensions, remedies, refunds, expulsion, or any combination thereof.

WASPA also has two media monitors who check advertising daily and test all services on a daily basis for compliance with its rules.

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