Motivation for the formation of WASPA

Mike Silber prepared a presentation detailing the motivation for the formation of WASPA. The presentation is available as a PDF download here: Waspa Motivation.pdf


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.