German regulator issues ordinance against ping calls

Monday 4 December 2017 | 15:09 CET | News
Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), its national utilities and telecoms regulator, issued an ordinance on 04 December requiring mobile network operators and providers to switch on free price announcements in mobile networks for phone calls with certain international dialing codes. 

The ordinance is intended to protect consumers from making expensive return calls provoked by so-called “ping calls”, said the agency. Ping calls bait consumers into making international phone calls when their mobile device rings briefly with a number whose international dialing code can be confused with a local German code. For example, Madagascar’s dialing code of 00261 can be easily confused with Koblenz’s area code of 0261, said the agency. 

The price announcement should inform consumers that they have dialed an expensive international phone number at the beginning of their call so that they can hang up without incurring any charges. The mobile network operators and providers addressed in the ordinance have until 15 January 2018 to implement these changes for 22 countries, including Serbia, Tunisia, Albania, the Seychelles and Macedonia.

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

::: add a comment