This decision was made to discourage prank callers who, without any reasons, make annoying calls to the emergency short code numbers. The emergency short codes are: 111 (Police), 112 (Hospital), 113 (Fire), 114 (Marine) and 115 (Pro-Medical) and they are free of charge for the public to call. However, these codes are often being abused by callers.
TRR, after consulting the public and the operators, made this decision to authorised TVL and Digicel to warn any callers who continue to make prank calls. If the callers continue, then TVL or Digicel will disconnect their SIMs.
TRR made this decision to amend the National Numbering Plan dated 12 June 2012. The National Number Plan is an important document which provides a guiding procedure for the management of telecommunications numbers in the telecommunications sector in Vanuatu.
The amendment opened the short code for 16X to include voice and SMs services to include the following services:
• Free public information telecommunications services within the government and also NGOs; and
• The short code for 166 is allocated to National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) to enable them to provide warnings and related matters.
It is a requirement under the Act for the Regulator to nominate a service provider to provide a Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO) which aims mainly in proposing the terms and conditions of a reference interconnection offer in relation to interconnection rates.
Both TVL and Digicel were nominated under their licence in providing such reference so the Regulator made this decision to emphasize on the requirements provided therein.