Published On: Thu, May 16th, 2013

UTS is a telecommunications provider, sweep stakes providers are responsible for lottery

UTSWILLEMSTAD - Management and employees of UTS, like many others in our society, were very shocked by the murder of politician Helmin Wiels and condemn this. UTS lives wholeheartedly with all in our community who are affected by this incomprehensible act, especially the family, friends and supporters of the late Mr. Wiels.

UTS media has taken note of the 31 questions posed by the parliamentarian, the late Mr. Wiels, to the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Economic Development, the Minister of Transport, Traffic and Regional Planning and the Minister of Justice. UTS has sent on its own initiative to the Minister for telecommunications, Mr. Balborda, a letter with information about the questions which concerns UTS. Firstly, so the Minister has the necessary information, insofar as it concerns the position of UTS and its subsidiaries. Secondly, because the position of UTS has been  incorrectly displayed in the media.

From the 31 questions posed by the late Mr. Wiels it seems that he questioned if UTS and / or its subsidiaries are part of regulated lottery services within the meaning of Regulation 1909 Lottery via SMS to end users. This is not at all the case. Further media coverage pretends that UTS and / or its subsidiaries were involved in illegal SMS lotteries. Also, this is, however, not at all the position of UTS as a telecom company.

UTS has (through its subsidiaries) the necessary concessions for telecommunications infrastructure and has to provide telecommunication services. Concessionaires have the obligation to provide third-party service providers who wish to use these features. This should be done within the limits of the telecommunications law, but taking into account the capacity of the network.

One of the services offered by UTS is the Premium SMS Service. UTS and / or its subsidiaries have with various service providers, the so-called "content providers", concluded an SMS Premium Service contract. Such a contract governs the use by the content provider of technical services to offer SMS Services to end users. End users can then, by sending an SMS to the SMS short code of the content provider, buy services directly from him.

UTS offers therefore to the content provider the technology available on UTS telecommunications network to provide end users with a mobile chippie through its SMS services. UTS is responsible for providing telecommunications service and UTS therefore contributes to the load on the telecommunications and related administration services which UTS then supplies to the content provider.

The content provider, as a service provider, is responsible for its own service that it provides to the end user via SMS on the UTS network. The content provider is also responsible for determining, based on the law, and whether any tax and / or license rights, should be paid in connection with his service that he offers by SMS. He must also determine in which country this should be done. This also applies to a content provider that offers lottery services to Chippie users.

The end user chooses which service will be charged on his balance (prepaid) or budget (postpaid); to UTS services, as minutes, or using the Internet and social media, or to third-party services, such as lotteries, horoscopes, or other third party content offered through SMS. If buying via SMS, the end-user decides for the third party content, the cost of that content retained by UTS of the balance of the end user (prepaid) or afterwards collected by him (postpaid). This revenue is paid to the content provider. So the end user determines how he (credit or budget) spends his money, not UTS.

For its network and administrative services to a content provider UTS holds an agreed fee for it its sales. The fee is what UTS makes with this Premium SMS services to content providers. The past three years, the net income of the UTS group from the SMS Premium averaged less than 1 percent of the total (consolidated) net income of the UTS group.

Likewise, as UTS and its subsidiaries cannot be held responsible for the content of communications through its networks or for the sale of products and services through websites that the end user can access via the Internet offered by UTS, UTS cannot be held responsible for the content that content providers offers to end users through SMS services. UTS is not aware of a legal obligation for her to act differently than it does today in the present situation.

UTS, as telecommunication service provider, does not assume the role of judge or supervisory authority. Competent authorities have never imposed or announced that UTS should intervene in the telecommunications which it now delivers to lottery service providers. This while it is generally known that UTS (as well as other telecommunications service providers do that) a facilitating role has with respect to the service providers. What UTS concerns, since 2005.

Also, UTS was never informed by the competent authorities that it cannot offer the possibility for end users of a mobile chippie to outsource their prepaid services to other service providers or buy postpaid services of third parties which are settled via UTS.

Finally, UTS has learned through the media that government itself should reflect on how lottery services may be offered by content providers through SMS. The legislation on lotteries dates from long before the electronic age. For that reason, this legislation may be difficult to apply to the modern information society. Should the government in the future have implications for UTS and other telecommunications providers who act as a facilitator for lottery service providers, then UTS will include this course in its policy, once UTS is informed by the responsible authority.

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