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June 09, 2004
Mobile spam might be expensive

Spam is something you have to take seriously, especially if you're a player in the wireless industry in which the problem is (fortunately) in its infancy. Silicon reports that Vodafone, in order to prevent MMS based spam, is considering charging business customers for sending multimedia messages. Rob Borthwick, Vodafone's public policy executive declared:

"If you want to send a million messages to our users, you'd better have a million times 10 cents".

Ehm... not exactly a good news for the mobile marketing industry.

Comments on this entry

mAd spam, not so Mad after all..

Good posting. The economics of mobile spam make the business proposition quite different from e-mail based spam, but unfortunately the 10 cents per SMS is no deterrent to spam. In Japan on mobile networks in 2002 over 90% of all messages were spam (each sent message was charged, but even worse for the receptient, in the Japanese model you also pay a little for RECEIVING messages, so each mobile phone user had to pay for every spam message that they opened, and had to spend countless amounts of time to clean their inboxes. The three operators lobbied the regulator to allow draconian anti-spam measures to curb this problem.

Free spam is of course most dangerous, as currently of all e-mail messags sent, 60% is spam. But the charge per SMS or MMS is no absolute deterrent, only it forces the spammer to more carefully calculate who and with what message (and from where) to send the messages. There are plenty of Tuvalus and Vanuatus that have trivial SMS costs and are suddenly discovered by the mobile spammers to flood a market before the mobile operators have time to react.

Tomi :-)

Posted by: Tomi at June 14, 2004 01:59 PM


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