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Premium Rate Lines And The Role Of ICSTIS

Aug 17, 2007
This article outlines the regulatory services offered by ICSTIS. The article will help to understand what individuals, service providers and phone networks can expect from it.

It is an independent body that regularizes premium rate telephone services in the United Kingdom. It is a non profit making organization and consists of twelve board members and supported by a full time executive.

In order to operate as a Premium Rate Service operator in the UK you need a registration with ICSTIS. At the time of registration the service providers must provide certain information to the regulatory body. After verifying the details an approved number is offered to the service provider.

The service provider must provide some minimum details to get a license. Some of these details are the telephone number ranges with which it wants to offer services, any website address that the service provider may need to link as part of the service, and the contact details of the directors. Once the registration is done the service provider is given a Service Provider Registration Number (SPN).

The important point to note here is that you need to register only once as a service provider. The charge that a service operator can charge is up to UKP1.50 per minute.The service providers should take care of any relevant legal and regulatory conditions before embarking on the service.

There are some areas of PRN services which are outside the purview of ICSTIS. These are legal, technical, commercial and matters related to services that do not charge via premium rate.

Phone networks planning to offer PR services should also register before they can start their services. This applies to communication providers who wish to start originating services and terminating services for premium rate numbers.

If you start your services without registration the regulatory body has the rights to initiate investigation against your firm. Also you have to pay a levy on the revenues that you generate to the regulatory body.

It also takes initiative to ensure that people using the PRS are not taken for a ride by the service providers and the network companies. It has given a mandate to the service providers to offer precise and accurate pricing information, genuine advertising and service content.

ICSTIS has certain powers to bar companies from operating Premium Rate Services if they breach the code of conduct of operations. It takes around 30 days to get a clearance and start services. The investment for a service provider can be from nil to UKP50.00.

Once you have a service provider license from you can start any service such as weather forecasts, adult entertainment services or technical support services for hardware. ICSTIS plays the role of the overseeing body of this industry and interestingly enough is funded by the PR companies themselves and not Government.

The organization is offering a relentless service for the benefit of consumers, providers and operators. Without its presence we could have been in a jungle out there in this highly lucrative industry.
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