Why join WASPA?

Fourteen reasons for joining WASPA:

  1. WASPA is a proactive body representing the interests of its members and works for the common good of the industry as a whole.
  2. WASPA developed a Code of conduct for its members, and also enforces this code to ensure business is conducted in an ethical manner, maximising consumer confidence in WASP services.
  3. Members are able to contribute to the evolution of the Code and ensure their business needs are considered.
  4. WASPA runs a consumer complaints desk, ensuring that all users of WASP services have a single point where they can raise concerns and resolve complaints.
  5. Complaints are channelled to the relevant WASP, and WASPA provides feedback to the consumer during the resolution process.
  6. WASPA provides a media monitoring service, ensuring compliance of all WASP services to the WASPA code.
  7. WASPA maintains excellent relationships with the relevant authorities ensuring that the implementation of the many regulatory requirements, on behalf of its members, is dealt with as quickly and efficiently as is feasible.
  8. WASPA uses its credible reputation and expertise to negotiate with the appropriate governmental bodies for equitable solutions for its members.
  9. WASPA provides members with legal information and advisories.
  10. WASPA members are afforded the opportunity to discuss, express opinions and vote, thereby offering a democratic platform in which to deal with industry-related issues.
  11. WASPA members are encouraged to join one of the many working groups to contribute to the association’s initiatives and activities.
  12. WASPA has a regular newsletter and a frequently updated website keeping members informed on all relevant issues.
  13. WASPA provides a Public Relations function for the industry, promoting good press and resolving and commenting on issues.
  14. WASPA collaborates with the international mobile community to glean and share best practices, which ensures that we remain at world standard within a developing environment.

About WASPA

The Wireless Applications Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) is a South African industry body not for gain.

Established on 26 August 2004, the association currently represents the interests of hundreds of companies active in the WASP industry.

WASPA is represented by a Management Committee made up of WASPA members, elected by members at the annual general meeting.

WASPA is funded by its members and the network operators. WASPA maintains a list of members on the WASPA web site.

History

The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) was launched on 26 August 2004 in Sandown, Gauteng with the full support of the three network operators: Cell C, MTN and Vodacom. The mobile service industry was in a key stage of development, with growing public demand for services, and an increasing number of organisations providing mobile services.

In order to uphold public perception of these services and to protect against bad practices, it was decided that a strong industry body was needed, with an appropriate Code of Conduct, representing the interests of its members and consumers, by enforcing the good practices established by this Code.

The association intended to provide the following additional benefits as it grew and matured:

  • A public complaints mechanism managed by persons trusted by both WASPs and the public;
  • The option to nominate the industry association as the designated agent upon receipt of a take-down notification as referred to in Section 77 of the Act;
  • Industry self-regulation/governance  – a WASP sector with strong self-regulation is less likely to be subject to external regulation (from government, networks etc);
  • Establishment of public trust, for example, by the development of advertising guidelines for paid-for content services, or greater publicity of the WASPA Code of Conduct.
  • The potential to lobby and represent the WASP industry on matters of mutual interest, in particular legal and regulatory issues that affect WASPs. Lobbying as an industry group is usually more effective than individual representations. Areas where such activity may take place include:
    • Proposed convergence legislation;
    • The provision of adult content and appropriate protection measures for minors;
    • Advertising and marketing codes of conduct;
    • Proposed privacy legislation;
    • Interaction with the Film and Publication Board on the questions of adult content and child pornography legislation;
    • Interaction with the sector regulator, ICASA;
    • Interaction with government; and
    • Interaction with the existing and future networks on matters of mutual interest.
  • The opportunity to network with members and foster support structures as well as special interest groups.

Regulatory representation, advice and support

Over the years, WASPA has developed good working relationships with many governmental bodies, including the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, the Film and Publications Board and the Department of Trade and Industry. Members benefit significantly from these relationships.

WASPA has made submissions to government on relevant bills such as the Consumer Protection Bill.

WASPA regularly produces advisories for its members on important issues, such as court cases that are relevant to the industry.

Code of Conduct

All WASPA members are bound by the association’s Code of Conduct. This Code requires all members to meet certain standards in terms of privacy, consumer protection, spam and protection of minors. Membership of WASPA indicates to your customers that your company takes these issues seriously.

Events

WASPA holds general meetings once every quarter, and runs a number of workshops during the year to deal with issues and concerns either raised by the members or of relevance to the industry.

Networking and contacts

The association runs several mailing lists and has a number of committees and working groups. Members are encouraged to participate in one or more of these working groups and to subscribe to the relevant mailing lists.

Feedback from current members is that the opportunity to meet and network with other members at WASPA events is very valuable. WASPA fosters co-operation between members, providing new members with a valuable support structure to use for questions or problems.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about WASPA membership, please contact the Secretariat team using the contact page.