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Overview

As mobile messaging technology extends its reach into more countries, this has also increased our exposure to the darker side of messaging; Spam, Scam, abusive messaging and phishing attacks are all threats that are now prevalent within the mobile messaging space.  As a responsible provider operating in the local NZ messaging industry, we must adjust the way we operate to protect end mobile users.  The Mobile Networks require all messaging providers and users of their networks to make changes to better assist in the detection and prevention of spam, threatening messages and phishing attacks.  This is an industry-wide change and will apply to services using the A2P network.

Due to the significant increase in spam and scam messages, contributing to the increase in the number of complaints from mobile users, the Department of Internal Affairs (the Government regulatory body) has been proactively pushing for change.  This has prompted a review of the way services are activated.  To help identify and shut down spammers and scammers, New Zealand mobile networks are driving a shift in the way services are managed.  This has prompted a review of the way services are activated, with Vodafone NZ leading the first wave of changes.

The changes introduced are;

  1. Shared shortcodes (multiple services using a single shortcode) will no longer be approved across mobile networks;
  2. All businesses using a shared shortcode will need to move to a dedicated shortcode (multiple businesses will no longer be able to use the same shortcode);
  3. Any shortcodes (shared or otherwise) transacting spam or scam messages will be shut down by Vodafone NZ (and potentially other network operators) immediately, without warning and will not be re-activated; and
  4. Any shortcodes being investigated by Mobile Networks will require businesses to provide information about clients within 24 hours (especially where spam or scam messages have been sent).


Because it is a change that the industry is driving, we will have to work towards a strict timeline.  We acknowledge that for some this may pose some operational challenges and we will do our very best to support you through these changes.  We encourage you to reach out to our team to discuss this further.

The immediate questions around the cost of shortcodes especially for those who require large quantities will be answered soon.  We are currently negotiating with Vodafone NZ to try and reduce all costs related to the process and we will keep you informed of any progress that we make. 

Recommendations

If you are a Messaging reseller or an Aggregator, we recommend you reach out to our Service Delivery team to discuss;

  1. the number of shortcodes you may require (this will help with our discussions with Vodafone NZ);
  2. any challenges in moving to dedicated codes; and
  3. the plan for migrating your service to dedicated codes.

There will be a more involved approach for migrating resellers and aggregators to dedicated codes.

Indicative Timeline

Here's a quick overview of what we'd like to achieve;

Date

Summary

Description

11-Oct-2019

Project X Kick-Off

Initial comms ~ shared shortcodes will no longer be supported

30-Oct-2019Service FormsService Application forms and Bulk application sheets will be made available to clients who need to order new shortcodes

6-Nov-2019

Shortcode Bulk Order

Bulk shortcodes order (Batch #1)

8-Nov-2019Project X UpdateUpdate to be posted via public space
13-Nov-2019Shortcode Bulk OrderBulk shortcodes ordered (Batch #2)
20-Nov-2019Shortcode Bulk OrderBulk shortcodes ordered (Batch #3)

Contact

If you'd like to discuss how this may impact you or if you'd like to get started on your service migration, email migrations@modicagroup.com  These emails will be directed to our Service Delivery Team.


Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ's

Who will be impacted by the 'shared shortcode' changes?

Those who will be immediately impacted are either;

  1. Omni customers using our shared range of codes that other businesses are also using; or
  2. businesses who offer shared shortcodes to their clients (i.e. Messaging Reseller).

Are there any exceptions to the 'shared shortcode' changes?

Businesses who use messaging as part of a wider service offering may not be impacted.  For example, if your business sends two-factor authentication codes via text on behalf of multiple businesses, this particular service is not currently within the scope of services that are subject to the changes.

To confirm if your business is exempt from the move to dedicated codes please get in touch with our Service Delivery Team (migrations@modicagroup.com).

What can Messaging Resellers or Aggregators do with regards to Spam and Scam messages?

We recommend you implement three important changes;

  1. If offering online sign-ups - remove the automatic activation of services for any customers;
  2. Ensure a thorough vetting process is carried out before activating customers (allowing them to send messages); and
  3. Implement some form of monitoring across services that can flag content with specific messages or keywords.




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