Mobile Spam

As reported by Textually, the Philadelphia Inquirer carries an article on why mobile spamming won’t be as big as email spamming.

According to John Summers, global director for managed security at Blue Bell-based Unisys Corp:

U.S. cell-phone companies have learned from the mistakes of carriers in other countries and have installed technology to prevent spam and viruses from reaching cell phones.

It’s easier to detect cell-phone spammers than e-mail spammers. Cell-phone messages come from one of six carriers, as opposed to thousands of traditional Internet service providers.

Text messages sent from one carrier to another may not go through, because the networks are not always technically compatible.

It’s expensive to send cell-phone spam. Most carriers charge between 8 cents and 12 cents per message, while sending spam over the Internet is virtually free.

And receiving text messages costs, too – typically 2 cents to 3 cents per message.

Cell-phone companies have a strong financial interest in keeping text-message spam under control, Summers said, because text-messaging represents a potentially lucrative revenue stream.

And he could well be right – logically he is, obviously.

While the fuss about mobile spam is greatly hyped by the media, it does still go on. And perhaps the biggest damage is that it makes bona fide marketers slow to embrace a potentially very powerful medium.

But some of us were making exactly the same points to the operators in the early days of the Mobile Marketing Association in the UK, as Mr Summer’s is making now. And it didn’t stop spam happening.

The mobile operators would much rather adopt the “I see no ships” policy adopted by Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen – while putting his telescope to his blind eye.

They think that by ignoring the problem, they’ll make a lot of money out of spam. Unfortunately for everyone, they’ll only start to make money from mobile marketing when they eliminate spam.

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