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Spam concerns prompt GSMA action

25 марта 2010

The GSMA is introducing a spam message reporting service to allow customers to use a universal shortcode to report spam or fraudulent messages to mobile operators.

The industry body will also keep a central record of all reported spam, delivering reports and anonymised data back to mobile operators so that they can identify spam sources and benchmark their own filtering performance against industry norms.

The service, called the Spam Reporting Service, will use the code ‘7726', (SPAM) where local national numbering plans permit, in conjunction with the additional code ‘33700' where required. In time, the number could be pre-loaded into phone address books.

The idea of a central service is to provide operators with industry-wide information about the source and unwanted messages; the reports will include data on misuse patterns, volumes and top originators of spam, regionally and worldwide.

The service will be operated by messaging security company Cloudmark. Stuart Paton, Senior Solutions Architect for Cloudmark, told Mobile Europe that the company has the "scaleability and deep analytical capability" to provide such a reporting service to the industry. Although the service will be free to operators in its pilot phase, where three operators (SFR, AT&T and Korea Telecom) will be taking part, in time operators will pay a levy for the service. The idea is that by providing a centralised service costs can be kept to a minimum.

Although operators tend not to want to talk about it, the presence of spam messaging, or even malicious or fraudulent content, on their networks is a serious problem.

Stuart Paton, Senior Solutions Architect for Cloudmark, told Mobile Europe that spam was revealed as a "main concern" for most mobile operators after Cloudmark and the GSMA jointly carried out research into operator concerns around spam and fraudulent messaging.

"It's not at the level of email, but most users in mature markets are reporting perhaps one or more spam message a month, and that can be enough to create a churn point. 95% of users reported that they have seen spam at some point," he said.

He said that operators are concerned that spam could damage their brand reputation, as well as leasd to an expensive increase in customer care calls, and lead to incorrect billing.

Paton added that in mature markets spam tends to be at lower volumes, targeting higher returns from inducing calls to premium rate numbers. In Asia, where the cost of sending SMS is much cheaper, spam traffic can account for 30% of SMS messages sent on SS7 networks, Paton said.


Источник: Mobile Europe

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