Podcast 67: Truth in Telecoms, MEF Member Wrestling

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After the success of Podcast 65 across the summary and deep dive videos about TNID, we currently have a total of 1724 views after only a couple of days since publishing. Johnny lured Noah back for a head to head verbal wrestling match on how we can solve the spam SMS problem. Noah is a member of MEF

Johnny’s opening statement was the MEF members are like suckerfish hanging around carriers/telcos. Until there is regulation, which will take time only the suckerfish can affect change on spam SMS. The current behavior of the mid-tier of suckerfish is squeezing ecosystem members out of the business, and pushing web brands away from A2P SMS.

For example, in Europe some companies are being excluded from gateway SMS deals. While we’ve seen in the US the trials and tribulations of CSPs (Campaign Service Providers) trying to send 10DLC and 800SMS. The ecosystem is trying to remove competition, and smothering the smaller members. While the carriers have nothing to enforce given the lack of regulation, so simply focus on growing their SMS profit center.

Johnny points his finger at Twilio for generating a significant proportion of SMS spam. Which is partially revealed by Syniverse’s recent announcement on the closure of its non-sanctioned 10DLC SMS path. He labels Twilio the 4th largest carrier in the US, though there is an arguement Google could take that crown given it broadband network and running carriers’ messaging infrastructure.

There is also the fighting amongst the mid-tier suckerfish, with Netnumber, Aegis, Proofpoint and MEF running events without TCR present. Tata Communications has TCR up for sale by Lazard Bank according to several sources. None on this is helping tackle the SMS spam problem.

Noah responded by reviewing how we got to here, how the tribal nature of messaging has created many mid-tier companies generating revenues through their association with carriers. And how AI opens up an even greater threats to consumers, which will result in attempts to squeeze even more cash out of consumers.

AI is simply a money maker for the carriers and suckerfish. Noah’s key point is the carriers need help. He describes how TNID, and a little light regulation, could resolve the current problems and protect US consumers.

I raised to Noah the issue one why carriers are not measuring the SPAM SMS problem. His response is when they can measure the problem, they’ll then have to fixed the problem. Hence the current failure to launch in adoption of TNID.

Towards the end of this podcast Johnny and Noah get feisty as they discuss the origins of the TCR, and the challenges going forward.

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