The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has cracked down on SMS spammers by fining two men penalties totalling £440,000. Tetrus Telecoms, jointly owned by Christopher Niebel and Gary McNeish, was found to have “plagued the public with millions of unlawful spam texts” over the past three years, according to the ICO.
On 3 December 2012 the mobile industry marked the twentieth anniversary of what is widely regarded as the birth of SMS – the sending of a message from a PC to a mobile phone on the Vodafone network by engineer Neil Papworth. Two years after that milestone, Nokia released the first phone that allowed users [...]
In common I suspect with many other longer-serving observers of the telecoms industry, the news that it has been all of 20 years since engineer Neil Papworth tapped out his seasonal text message to a friend and unwittingly launched what was to become next most successful service to voice, bought a wry smile to my face. It is tempting to look back and wonder just how we failed to see that one coming. The fact is however we didn’t see it coming and were collectively taken by surprise by the speed with which the world and his dog adopted text messaging as its second most favourite means of telecommunication. While we may find it deeply ironic that the fickleness of human nature could take a multi-trillion dollar global industry by surprise, we should look for the lessons to be learned from the experience.
“At the time it didn’t seem like a big deal,” explained Neil Papworth, the twenty two year old British engineer, after sending the world’s first ever text message back in 1992. Almost 20 years ago to the day, Neil marked his place in history, revolutionising communication as we know it, all by sending a text message that read “Happy Christma.” The elegant simplicity of this message soon went on to define the very nature of the platform which has grown to become a cornerstone of mobile communication in the 21st Century.
This paper is the third in the series of outlining the potential threats Africa is facing with SMS spam. With Africa being the second largest mobile market in the world, second only to Asia, it is deemed to be the fastest growing mobile market today with 735 million mobile subscribers expected at the end of 2012, leaving a golden opportunity for messaging abuse attracting the likes of spammers, fraudsters and illegitimate users, resulting in revenue leakages and disputes for mobile network operators.
While traditional SMS revenues are under pressure from rich messaging apps such as WhatsApp, iMessage and others, mobile operators will still generate a total of $722.7bn in revenues from SMS between 2011 and 2016, according to research released this week.
Orange’s pan-African operations have partnered with Google in a bid to exploit SMS as a platform for delivering Google services to low-end devices in use across Africa and the Middle East.
Orange’s decision to partner with Google to provide Google’s Gmail SMS Chat to the subscribers of its operating companies in the Middle East and Africa is an acknowledgement by both parties that those who live in emerging markets are just as interested in accessing Internet services as those who live in developed markets. By enabling Gmail Chat via SMS, Orange and Google are also acknowledging that SMS is a key delivery channel for internet services in emerging markets, where there is low penetration of internet-enabled PCs and of internet-enabled mobile devices.
The humble SMS will remain a significant source of revenues and traffic for mobile operators on a global basis until at least 2015, according to the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media. Global SMS revenues are forecast to rise to $136.9bn by 2015 from $105.5bn in 2010, as global SMS traffic increases from five trillion messages in 2010 to 8.7 trillion messages in 2015.
We recently conducted an exercise looking very closely at the major strategic initiatives that have been implemented by the European telco community. It was a fascinating exercise that revealed a perhaps surprising level of consensus amongst all major European telcos. Whilst the tactics in reaching the goals may vary, our analysis showed the long-term strategic priorities are shared and fall into four very clear and focused aims.
The earthquake that hit Haiti on Jan. 12 is a tragedy of devastating proportions. The official death toll stood at 111,500 as of January 24, according to the Haitian government officials, with another 200,000 people reported injured. Just 132 people were pulled alive from collapsed buildings in the past two weeks. In addition to losing their loved ones and their homes, millions of Haitians also lack the basic necessities of life: food, water and clothing among them. It is a desperate situation.
Mobile carrier Orange UK said Tuesday it is working to integrate popular social networking platform Twitter into its own service offerings, including TV as well as mobile and web.
Open network APIs are arguably the most publicized alternative business model to the traditional voice, SMS and data operator offering. Network APIs are enablers for a variety of business models, including operator branded application stores, two sided business models, web mashups and developer communities.
Mobile messaging firm Syniverse this week announced plans to acquire the messaging unit of US tech and security company VeriSign for $175m in cash.