Wednesday, March 22, 2006

SMS 32335 to Stop SPAM

Cellphone users fed up with receiving unsolicited commercial SMS messages, or spam, can now SMS the number that has been spamming them to 32335 and Mira Networks will contact the spammer to demand that spamming cease. The cost is just R1 per SMS.

“It is highly frustrating to receive SMS spam with no way of knowing how to stop it. Spam Stop is a positive development in the fight against spam and will achieve tangible results for the consumer,” said Sean Conde, CEO of Mira Networks.

The only remedy previously available to spam victims involved a frustrating process of calling the cellular networks, the spammer’s technology or content provider as well as the offending company itself.

Although jail time and fines are sanctions, many spammers flout Section 45 of the Electronic Communications Act regulating the transmission of unsolicited commercial messages by not providing an opt-out mechanism or contact details in their SMS messages.

The website was launched by the cellular networks and the Wireless Application Service Provider Association (WASPA) last year to enable cellphone users to identify and contact spammers.

“With only 3.5 million Internet connections in SA, remains largely inaccessible. Consumers need an SMS solution to an SMS problem. The explosion of mobile content services that automatically subscribe consumers hastened the development of Spam Stop,” explained Mr Conde.

South Africa’s three cellular networks recently launched a Code of Good Practice aimed at the WASP industry. However, the escalation procedure outlined in the code for spam victims to follow is lengthy and numerous telephone calls are required for mobile users to be taken off spam databases.

Mira Networks is a leading aggregator WASP offering other WASPs and corporate clients connectivity to the customers of all three South African cellular networks across a wide range of technologies such as SMS, MMS, IVR and more.

South Africa currently has some 25 million cellular users with market leader Vodacom alone carrying a quarter of a billion SMS messages on its network monthly.

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