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Ensuring compliance: A reseller’s guide to navigating RICA, ICASA regulations


Johannesburg, 26 Feb 2024
Photo by Panumas Nikhomkhai.
Photo by Panumas Nikhomkhai.

VOIP resellers play a crucial role in connecting businesses and individuals with reliable communication services. However, amid the opportunities, it’s a complex challenge to navigate the regulatory landscape carefully. Here are four crucial regulations that we advise our Wanatel resellers pay close attention to, to ensure compliance of their business within the realms of regulations.

Rule 1: RICA compliance – protecting identities

The first and foremost rule is centred on the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA). It mandates that all end-users must supply specific documents promptly. This includes a copy of the account holder’s ID document, with special attention to both the front and back of ID cards for clarity. Additionally, proof of residence through an account statement is required. Resellers must ensure these documents are readily available and can be provided immediately on request. Not only does this safeguard the reseller from potential legal ramifications, but it also serves to protect the identities of end-users.

Rule 2: Geographic boundaries – staying within borders

A critical aspect of the regulations stipulates that all end-users using the network must be within the specified geographic borders. VOIP resellers need to rigorously verify the location of their clients to ensure compliance and that end-users are in South Africa. Operating outside these geographic boundaries not only jeopardises the reseller’s standing, but may also lead to legal consequences.

Rule 3: Outbound calls – validating caller ID for trustworthy communication

For transparency and accountability, all outbound calls made by end-users must display a valid network ID as the outbound caller line identification (CLI). This not only builds trust among users, but also aligns with regulatory requirements. Resellers should implement measures to guarantee that their clients adhere to this rule to maintain the integrity of the network.

Rule 4: DID recycling – patience pays off

The RICA regulations emphasise a “cool down” period of six months for the recycling of DID communication lines. Resellers must be vigilant in tracking the activity of each line and refrain from supplying or recycling it within the stipulated cool down period. This ensures that the integrity of the communication lines is maintained, preventing potential conflicts and disruptions for end-users.

Commenting on these rules, Evan Damon, wholesale channel manager at Wanatel, said: “ICASA is firm on the enforcement of these regulations, and any failure to abide by them can result in immediate account suspension without prior notice. We urge our resellers to communicate these regulations clearly to their clients to adhere to the requirements. We can’t emphasise enough the importance of compliance to avoid disruptions in service.

“Navigating the regulatory landscape is an integral part of the reselling business,” he adds. “By doing so, as a community we contribute to the overall integrity and reliability of the telecommunications network of our country.”

Photo by Panumas Nikhomkhai: https://www.pexels.com/photo/ip-phones-with-voip-technology-are-outstanding-in-international-usage-19506332/

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