The plague of mobile phone spam is rapidly reaching epidemic proportions, a study published by a consortium representing industry and academia reported today.
According to a report from the University of St Gallen in Switzerland and mobile firm Intrado, more than eight in 10 mobile users have received unsolicited messages. Most users said that they are more inclined to change their operator than their mobile number to fight the problem.
Both consumers and mobile operators predict that mobile spam will become more of a problem in the future. Over 80 per cent of telecoms industry respondents indicated that they perceive mobile spam to be a 'critical issue' today or to become critical within the next one to two years.
Consumers worldwide said that mobile spam has a negative impact on the brand of the mobile network operator, to which most complaints are directed.
In addition, consumers indicated that they perceive mobile marketing messages from mobile operators as unwanted spam.
Tom Phillips, government and regulatory affairs officer at the GSM Association, said: "While there is no single solution to the mobile spam problem, there are a number of key components to any real solution, including identifying the spammers by rejecting anonymous or spoofed access and making them pay through clear and suitable charging mechanisms."
Using a comparative research approach, the study conducted in November and December 2004 analysed perceptions based on 1,659 completed consumer surveys and 154 surveys from mobile service company professionals.
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