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Cellular Spam is on the rise

The spam nuisance is making waves in the cell phone domain also. The cell phone is now plagued by
the SMS version of the dreaded spam. A recent study by AP, AOL, Pew life and American Life Project
states that about 18 percent of cell phone owners in the United States reported receiving cellular
spam last year.

A report by NTTDoCoMo, the Japanese Internet giant says that 80% of SMS traffic is unsolicited.
About 63% of all cell phone owners in Europe received unsolicited SMSes. If research predictions
are to be believed then mobile message traffic is expected to grow by 92 percent in Europe in the
next few years and this would mean a corresponding rise in spam numbers also.

Cellular spam is relatively rare in Israel and almost all the Israeli cellular operators have
mechanisms that can block spam, though generally and inefficiently. Cellular operators need not
necessarily have interest in blocking SMS messages as they are a source of revenue. The world
leaders in blocking cellular spam are Vodafone and other British cellular operators, which
pre-empted regulators and initiated spam-blocking technology.

3G technology is now available to more and more cellular customers and this has led to an increase
in SMS and SMM (short multimedia) traffic. According to Avner Porat, CEO and founder of Cellact, a
company that develops mobile messaging products "Future anti-spam technology will have to find
stronger tools for managing spam in order to block erotic photos, for example, and not text
messages containing the word 'sex.'"

US cellular networks currently lack the capacity for widespread distribution of wireless spam
however the developments in Europe and Japan (where they have already become a significant burden
on cellular users) suggest that they may soon have to address such problems in the US as well.

The Israeli Parliament Knesset is currently working on a law against mail advertisements and the
bill is being modeled on the European OptIn model which bans the sending of advertising messages,
unless the recipient consents in advance.

Related article: Celebrity Image Used For Spamming Once Again

» SPAMfighter News - 6/14/2006

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