Podcast 19: Truth in Telecoms, T-Mobile did What?

This is possibly the last Podcast of 2023, we may squeeze one in next week depending on how people react to this one. It’s very spicy!

As you’ll see in the video, Johnny was fired up because of what TMO (T-Mobile) announced last night, see image below, a new set of fines. Timed while many people are travelling for their end of year vacations. An attempt to bury this story?

For all the businesses using A2P SMS, including the CSPs (Campaign Service Providers) this is a big lump coal from Father TMO. A $2k fine for just one message deemed to be phishing, effective 1st January 2024.

Despite finishing the year with a bit of a downer thanks to TMO. We wish everyone the best for 2024. Know we will be fighting for all the innovators in our industry, using every resource we have, including TADSummit and TADHack.

TMO can stop spam on its network, we’ve covered this in the Messaging Monopolies, it’s a commercial decision driven by meeting the inflated expectations of Wall Street. Carriers are making too much money from spam to stop it.

Johnny also points out the dysfunctional relationship between listed companies, Wall Street analysts / activist infestors, and knee jerk reactions to the pressure they apply. For example, Twilio’s recent layoffs in the groups building its future, and then the rapid rise in its stock price.

If TMO deems your message(s) to be phishing, that’s $2k per message. Send 10 of them, a $20k fine. Send 1000 because perhaps you were hacked, that’s a $2M fine. Unlike when the govt fines companies, there are no guidelines and rules, transparent processes, defined processes, appeal processes, or frankly any teamwork to fight spam.

Johnny is pushing 2 initiatives:

  • A ‘Suicide Squad’ (Tiger Team) of experts that can solve the spam problem for the industry, bringing the best talent across proven entrepreneurs in cyber security, and messaging. Because the telcos and their old-boys appears unable to solve this issue.
  • A law suite where people who are being spammed sign up as plaintiffs and get one year’s free phone service from their carriers if the case is won. Rather than the lawyers taking all the money.

TMO, 51.4% owned by Deutsche Telekom, are imposing fines on US businesses, where other businesses (including some of the messaging monopolies) collect on their behalf. Where are the FTC and FCC? Are they OK with this situation. Will Verizon and AT&T follow suite with similar fines? The pricing between the carriers has so far been quite similar.

Johnny brings up RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) given the carriers’ oligopoly. TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) lawyers are lining up given the recent FCC rulings on extending the Do Not Call list to text messaging. He calls for a short on the A2P industry in Q1 2024. At this point in time, 2024 does not look good for the industry.

You know things are bad when Johnny starts pointing at the screen! We have an election year coming up, a shocking list of issues to address in A2P SMS/MMS, beyond the messaging monopolies, to carriers’ knee jerk reactions as well as the FCC’s. While the ones suffering from all this dysfunction are US businesses (rising charges, fines, and spam) and the American people (spam). It does not have to be this way.