Is SMS spam real?

It is quite common that many of us subscribe to text messages to receive alerts from marketers. But most of them are purely based on subscription. Not many of us receive SMS text messages without explicitly requesting them, like we receive emails. This is what I thought so far, until I read this article on CNET News.

The article warns that there is already considerable spamming using SMS and it will continue to grow.  The figures mentioned in the article are however mind blowing. Not sure how they come up with those figures, but if they are real, there is a bigger issue cooking up that could unsettle the dreams of SMS marketers.

Between 2005 and 2006, the volume of text message spam that reaches subscribers is expected to grow by 60 percent, according to market research firm Ferris Research.

Even though text-based spam is on the rise, the number of spam messages that actually get through to subscribers is relatively small, said Richi Jennings, an analyst at Ferris Research. In 2005, about 500 million unwanted text messages reached subscribers. In 2006, that figure is expected to be 800 million. And by the end of 2007, roughly 1 billion text-based spam messages will be received by subscribers, Jennings said. By comparison, U.S. cell phone users sent 12.5 billion text messages in the month of June alone, according to the CTIA Wireless Association. 

Source: Text message spam could spell trouble for text-based ads | CNET

I don't want to receive even a single SMS without explicitly subscribing to it,  because it is not only annoyance but also expensive.  It costs $.10 per message.

Becareful when signing up for alerts through SMS. It could cost you a lot.

[tags]SMS, mobile-applications, spam, ctia, cnet[/tags]


Richi Jennings said…
Hang on, "considerable spamming using SMS" is precisely what I said is NOT happening, and the full text of the article reflects that. 800m messages is actually a drop in the ocean, when you consider how many subscribers there are in the U.S.
murali said…
Apologize for the wrong impression.The article considers 500M/800M messages as 'relatively small'. But it is my belief that this is quite considerable, owing to the nature of SMS spam being different from Email spam. SMS spam should have been controlled by the carriers, as they charge the customers for each such message. The comparison with Email spamming is not logical either, to me, to consider this amount of spam is quite low. 800M messages still account for $80M, which subscribers have to pay for, unlike in case of Email spam.
[...] Recently I wrote a post trying to contemplate whether SMS Spam is real. Ferris Research indicated that “In 2005, about 500 million unwanted text messages reached subscribers. In 2006, that figure is expected to be 800 million.” but analysts at Ferris Research considered it as nothing comparing with the volume of SMS messages sent. [...]

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