The challenges of being compliant: DIDWW's story

Global compliance is one of our top priorities, and the DIDWW Compliance Department is doing tremendous work to ensure our full adherence to all aspects of international telecom regulations.

Since time is an extremely valuable currency, it is crucial that our customers receive fully compliant services at the click of a button. It is our responsibility to provide quality services at a fair price with our users having as little hassle as possible of submitting applications, filling out forms, reports, questionnaires, and attempting to comply with multiple regulatory requirements.

We are licensed as a telecom operator, or we directly partner with a licensed operator in every one of the 78 countries in which we provide virtual numbers. Obtaining a licence and our own number ranges involves stringent requirements and procedures that are specific to each country and are administered by the local Communications Regulator.

These requirements may vary from simply having a globally registered company with an address, to having a virtual office, a local representative, a local company or a local company branch and even a point of presence (POP). Moreover, some regulators require the payment of application fees or specified taxes, and most regulators require annual, semi-annual or quarterly reports that may include financial, number usage and end-user information. Due to these varying and often complex requirements, the necessary licensing procedures may take anything from a few weeks to a number of years to complete.

For instance, obtaining our licence in Ireland from the Commission for Communications Regulation in 2009 was a relatively simple procedure that required a company name, address and contacts. On the other hand, our Compliance, Carrier Relations and Network Engineering teams are currently working on acquiring a license in Hong Kong, and the regulations specify that a local company branch must be established, together with the presence of a local representative and technical installations. Clearly, this process will take some time to complete.

Other licensing related instances, such as our current interactions with the regulator at the German Bundesnetzagentur regarding our own number range application, is a lengthy process where the numbering systems are complicated, limited assistance is available from the regulator, and there are no clear guidelines defining the overall process. In such situations, additional assistance is required, and hiring a local telecommunications specialist familiar with the licensing procedures can often facilitate and accelerate the application.

As technology and services advance, a larger portion of the regulatory processes may be completed online, yet there still is a lot of room for improvement. A great deal of hard work is carried out in the background by our Compliance Department in order for us and our customers to be strictly adherent to the various communal, national and local regulations. Not only do the local regulators impose and frequently update laws that we have a responsibility to abide by, but communal entities, such as the EU, have their own regulations. An example of this is the recently introduced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that our professional team managed to integrate into our services and Terms & Conditions documentation.

Telephony and regulatory compliance is an onerous task and one that is often taken for granted. However, failure to adhere to the myriad of ever-changing regulations has serious consequences for both the service provider and their customers. It is the task of our dedicated team of professionals in the DIDWW Compliance Department to make this complex issue as invisible as possible, so that our customers can rest easy and enjoy their full package of services, together with “compliance in a box”.

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