1. Summary

SMSGorilla lays out a series of best practices it intends to follow that will protect consumers, help to keep them informed, and standardize the wireless messaging ecosystem. It includes identifying parameters for message exchange, such as transmitting, storing, and retrieving messages for both P2P and A2P. Also included is the protection of consumers from unwanted messages. 

Messaging has become a prevalent form of communication because it is not only convenient, but trustworthy, too. In this Best Practices document, SMSGorilla aims to reflect the efforts we plan to make to maintain your trust in our messaging services and support the messaging community allowing you to exchange messages and be protected from any unwanted messages.    

2. Scope

2.1 Purpose

SMSGorilla provides this guide to allow for innovation and the continued use of wireless messaging, while at the same time, protecting consumers from unwanted messages. It will also help keep our customers informed about advancements in wireless messages and the connected ecosystem. SMSGorilla also demonstrates our commitment to supporting new opportunities and uses while ensuring we protect consumers from unwanted messages. It shows how we plan to balance messaging traffic exchanges for various reasons, including, but not exclusively, for politician, emergency, non-profit, and educational purposes. Rest assured that implementing the following principles and best practices will be an iterative and ongoing process, as the wireless messaging industry is constantly changing.   

2.2 Messaging Services – Wireless

SMSGorilla predominantly addresses 10-digit phone number wireless messaging services. These numbers are unique identifiers specific to senders and recipients and assigned from North American Numbering Plan (NANP). Wireless messages are generally exchanged via our messaging networks and might include:

  • SMS or Short Message Services
  • MMS or Multimedia Messaging Services
  • RCS or Rich Communication Service

We cover the use of shortcodes (five or six-digit numbers) in point 5.5 below. 

Also included in the messaging ecosystem are cloud-based services. These require an app or stand-alone messaging client. The best practices and principles outlined by SMSGorilla only apply to messaging services that operate between provider’s messaging networks and cloud-based platforms. 

3. The Ecosystem of Wireless Messaging

3.1 Background

In the early days of wireless messaging services, communications were only possible with subscribers of the same wireless providers. This applied even when the ecosystem evolved, and it used 10-digit NANP numbers for Peer-to-Peer (P2P) two-way traffic. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2000 that SMS interoperation became possible between mobile networks. This was due to the introduction of a shortcode platform that used five or six-digit numbers. It also facilitated the use of bulk messages, such as messaging campaigns. Providers used vetting and auditing procedures for their high-volume campaigns, but simultaneously, ensuring that the risk of the shortcodes being used for unwanted messages was minimal. 

The messaging ecosystem evolved even further in 2009 and 2011 when it became possible for cloud-based services and non-mobile networks to exchange message traffic. In 2014, toll-free text-enabled phone numbers and group messaging were added to the ecosystem.  

3.2 How it has Evolved

Using 10-digit numbers allows consumers to communicate with each other. They can also communicate with organizations as if they were having a conversation. The continued provision of this service is one of our aims, but it is also our goal to reduce the number of unwanted messages our clients receive.

Messaging has become very popular because it is an attractive way for businesses to reach their customers. Consumers can retrieve the message when it suits them, choose to save it, or delete it, whatever they desire. 

As well as shortcode services, 10-digit numbers allow for two-way, high volume messaging traffic. But coupled with these advantages, there is an increased risk of unwanted messages getting through. Rest assured; we do everything we can to limit messages that bear any of the characteristics of unwanted messages. We list in section 7 the principles we intend to take to reduce this kind of traffic. 

3.3 Roles Within the Messaging Ecosystem

A thriving and efficient messaging ecosystem contains many sectors that work together to provide the best possible message service.  

3.3.1 P2P or the Consumer

A consumer is generally a person who pays for a specific messaging service or application. Businesses, entities, or organizations are not included in this section.

3.3.2 A2P or the Non-Consumer

This sector includes organizations, entities, or businesses that use messaging to communicate with their customers. 

3.3.3 Wireless Providers

This type of provider operates and typically owns data, telephone, and radio networks and provides a range of wireless communication services and products. The services they might offer include RCS, SMS, and MMS. 

3.3.4 MVNOs or Mobile Virtual Network Operators

An MVNo does not own any kind of network infrastructure. Instead, they resell network-related services that are maintained by one, two, or more wireless providers. 

3.3.5 Cloud-Based Providers

This type of provider enables messaging and voice services via over-the-top IP connectivity. Alternatively, they may take advantage of interoperability using wireless carrier network services. These services may or may not include wireless messaging. Access to wireless service can be via a standalone application of an API. 

3.3.6 ICVs or Inter-Carrier Providers

ICVs provide a service that facilitates interoperability between cloud-based and wireless providers.

3.3.7 Connection Aggregators

This is a company that offers various value-added services for the benefit of enterprise customers. These services can include messaging connectivity via numerous wireless providers. Typically, this type of company doesn’t support inter-carrier peering traffic.   

3.3.8 CLECs or Competitive Local Exchange Carriers

These are the companies that provide 10-digit Net National Product (NNP) phone numbers, along with traffic routing service to cloud-based providers. 

3.3.9 Registrars

Registrars are the ones that operate telephone number databases along with databases for associated communications providers allowing wireless messaging services to take place for 10-digit NANP phone numbers. Essentially, these databases are a resource that providers can use to help support effective wireless message exchanges. Customers of registrars include wireless providers, CLECs, cloud-based providers, enterprises, and ICVs. 

3.3.10 Network Security Providers

Providers of network security deliver solutions that allow cloud-based providers, ICVs, and wireless providers to identify any unwanted traffic. Network security providers offer various security features that include management and containment of spam.

3.3.11 Service Providers

A service provider includes any entities previously identified in section 3.3. They offer messaging and messaging-related services to non-consumers or consumers through 10-digit NANP phone numbers or shortcodes. The entities include CLECs, MVNOs, wireless and cloud-based providers. 

3.3.12 Sender or Message Sender

This term relates to any non-consumer or service provider that transmits or originates Application-to-Person (A2P) message traffic. 

3.3.13 Unwanted Messages

This category includes spam (unsolicited bulk commercial messages) and phishing messages used to access confidential or private information through deception. It also includes other kinds of harmful, malicious, abusive, inappropriate, or unlawful messages and messages that require an opt-in but didn’t obtain the opt-in or it was revoked. Finally, this section includes unwanted content you’ll find noted in section 5.3. 

4. Classification of Consumer/Non-Consumer Traffic

4.1 P2P Messaging

P2P messaging is a term that relates to messages sent by a consumer to one or more consumers. Such messages will be consistent with typical consumer operations. In other words, they will be similar to conversational messaging detailed below in section 4.1.1.                 

In these best practices and principles, we aim to deliver consistency across the messaging ecosystem. They also help distinguish between A2P (non-consumer) and P2P (consumer) messaging and establish understandable, clear, and defined definitions. 

4.1.1 What is Standard Consumer Operation?

The attributes of standard consumer operation are listed below in Exhibit I. Please note that they’re not exhaustive or mutually exclusive. There are other characteristics that are not listed. In general terms, wireless messaging traffic that comes from 10-digit NANP phone numbers and is consistent with all the attributes listed in Exhibit I should be considered as consumer messaging traffic as long as it meets other best practices listed by SMSGorilla. If, on the other hand, it exhibits characteristics of unwanted messaging traffic, it is not included. 

Exhibit I – Standard Consumer Operation Attributes

Attribute Notes
Throughput 15-60 message/minute Consumers cannot originate or receive more than one message/second
Volume 1,000 daily Typically, a consumer will never send or receive more than a few hundred messages in 24 hours. Consumers are unable to send or receive messages over long periods
Unique sender One phone number assigned to or used by a single consumer Consumers typically originate messages from one phone number
Unique Recipients 100 separate recipients/phone numbers per message Consumers usually send messages to a limited number of recipients
Balance 1:1 ratio of outgoing to incoming messages per phone number (however, there is some latitude in either direction) Consumer messages tend to be conversational. Any incoming message will usually generate a response
Repetition 25 repetitive messages A consumer message uniquely travels in the direction the consumer chooses, and the consumer sends it to specific recipients. They also tend not to repeat messages. 

4.1.2 Automation of Consumer Messaging

Sometimes, consumers do use automation to help respond to communications. A consumer might, for example, use an auto-reply when a phone call is received. The auto-reply might let the caller know they are busy or driving now and can’t talk. The use of such automation falls within the attributes of standard consumer operation. In comparison, non-consumers who use part or whole automation to facilitate messaging are not considered regular consumer operations. 

4.2 Non-Consumer Messaging

Non-consumer or A2P message traffic includes messaging to and from large and small companies, businesses, organizations, and entities. Therefore, A2P messages can consist of those sent to many consumers from a business or its agents, messages sent and received from customer service centers, service notifications, and alerts, along with machine-to-machine notifications. Senders of this type of message include schools, financial service providers, customer service entities, medical practices, political campaigns, and non-profit organizations. All message senders of this kind should adhere to the non-consumer best practices detailed by SMSGorilla under section 5. 

In addition, A2P designation could also depend on whether the messaging traffic meets the attributes of P2P (consumer) messaging detailed in Section 4.1. A2P (non-consumer) message traffic encompasses all automated messaging traffic not detailed as P2P messaging automation in Section 4.1.2. Any P2P messaging traffic operating inconsistently with standard consumer operation may be filtered or subject to unwanted messaging threat mitigation efforts following a provider’s messaging service terms and conditions. 

Protected consumers from unwanted messages, exceptionally high-volume traffic is one of our key goals. To help us meet that goal, there are clear parameters around P2P traffic. The environment we operate in helps us deliver non-consumer A2P messaging successfully. 

Protected consumers from unwanted messages, exceptionally high-volume traffic is one of our key goals. To help us meet that goal, there are clear parameters around P2P traffic. The environment we operate in helps us deliver non-consumer A2P messaging successfully.  

5. Best Practices for A2P, Non-Consumer

5.1 Consumer Agreement

The messaging ecosystem should operate, at all times, in a way that’s consistent with all relevant regulations and laws. These laws include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and associated Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations relating to consumer consent for communications. Whether these rules apply or not, and to maintain consumer confidence, A2P, non-consumer message senders must:

  • To receive messages generally, they must obtain a consumer’s consent
  • To receive marketing messages, they must also receive a consumer’s written consent
  • Ensure consumers are given the option to revoke their consent

Permission can be provided in many different ways, depending on the type of message content being shared. In the table below, we give some examples. The examples do not convey or constitute legal advice and should not take the place of legal advice from a professional. 

Exhibit II: Types of Messaging Content and Associated Principles

Conversational informational Promotional 
This is a back-and-forth conversation taking place by text. A consumer sending a text to a business and the business responding quickly with one message is considered conversational. If the consumer initiates the conversation and the company is merely responding, no additional permission is needed.  Informational messaging occurs when a consumer gives their telephone number to a business and asks to be contacted in the future. Messages included in this section are welcome texts, appointment reminders, and alerts. This is because the text message is sent in response to a consumer’s request. The consumer is expected to agree to receive specific texts when they provide their phone number.  This type of messaging includes all messages sent to consumers for sales or marketing promotions. If a call-to-action is added to an informational text, it could make the message a promotional one instead. Before a business sends any promotional messages, they must get a consumer’s written consent. If your company already requests consumers sign forms or submit contact details, you can include an additional field to capture their consent to receiving promotional messages.  
The consumer only sends the first message

The conversation is two-way

The consumer or the business can send the first message

One-way or two-way alert conversation

The company sends the first message

One-way alert

A message is sent in response to a specific request The message contains detailed information The message promotes a product, service, or brand

It prompts the consumer to go somewhere, but something, or take some other type of action

IMPLIED CONSENT

No verbal or written permission is required because the consumer initiated the text message exchange, and the business was only responding

EXPRESS CONSENT

Permission must be received from the consumer, either verbally, by text, on a website, on a form, or in writing. A business cannot send this kind of text message without the consumers express permission

EXPRESS WRITTEN CONSENT

The business must receive written permission from the consumer before it can send them a promotional message. They can give their permission by checking a box online, signing a form, or another way of providing consent.

Additional protection measures may be adopted for A2P non-consumer messages. They might include in-market audits, campaign pre-approval, unwanted message filtering practices aimed at facilitating the exchange of wanted messages, and service provider vetting.

5.1.1 Conspicuous and Clear Calls-to-Action Message Senders Must Provide

A call-to-action is a prompt for the consumer to opt-in to a messaging campaign. The call-to-action must be conspicuous and unambiguous. It should also contain an appropriate disclosure, so the consumer understands the nature of the program they are signing up for. The consumer must be aware of the following: 

  1. The product description or the program
  2. The shortcode or phone number the messages will originate from
  3. The identity of the individual or organization sending the initial message
  4. Opt-in information, associated fees, and charges should be clear and in a conspicuous language
  5. Applicable terms and conditions

All calls-to-action and any subsequent messaging should be clear and understandable, no deceptive language should be used, and the opt-in details should not be hidden away in the terms and conditions. 

5.1.2 Consumer Participation

Mechanisms should be in place to enable consumers to opt-in, and messages should only be sent after the consumer has consented to receive them. Procedures of this kind ensure consumers don’t receive unwanted messages and prevent messages from being sent to a phone number that is not the consumers.

Consumers can opt-in using several different methods, depending on individual circumstances. They include, but are not limited to the following:

  •  Entering their phone number on a website
  • Using a button on a mobile webpage
  • Sending a message from their phone that contains an advertising keyword
  • Initiating the exchange of text messages
  • Signing up at on-site locations of point-of-sale
  • Opting in by phone using IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology

Message senders are obliged to document consumer’s consent by keeping a record of the following data:

  • Timestamp for when the consumer gave their permission
  • The method used to secure consent
  • Whether the consumer opted in for a specific campaign
  • What IP address the consumer used to give consent
  • Consumer phone number consenting to receive messages
  • Name of the consenting individual and any other identifiers, such as username or session ID 
5.1.2.1 Confirmation of Recurring Messages

When consumers opt-in, they should receive a confirmation message informing them that they are enrolled in a recurring message campaign. The message should also provide clear and specific detail on how to opt-out. Included in this first confirmation message should be the following details:

  1. The name of the product or program
  2. Contact information for the customer care department
  3. Information on how to opt-out
  4. Confirmation that the messages are recurring and how often the consumer will receive them
  5. Consumers should get details of any associated charges or fees in clear and conspicuous language. It should also let the consumer know how they will be billed.   
5.1.2.2 Only One Opt-In per Campaign

Opt-ins should not be assignable or transferable. They should only apply to one specific campaign and message sender. 

5.1.3 Opt-Out for the Consumer

Mechanisms should be in place to allow the consumer to opt out of a campaign. Consumer opt-out requests should follow consistent guidelines along the following lines:

  • Consumers can opt-out of receiving messages at any time
  • There should be multiple opt-out options, including email, text, and phone call
  • All opt-out requests should be acknowledged and honored, and the consumer should receive notification that they have opted out successfully
  • Following the confirmation message, there should be no further messages
  • In the opt-out message, consumers should be made aware of how and what words affect an opt-out
  • Opt-out instructions should include standardized “STOP” wording, but other words such as end, cancel, quit, unsubscribe, or please opt me out should be recognized and acted upon, with minimal variances not impacting the opt-out request 

5.1.4 Opt-In Lists – Sharing, Selling, or Renting

Message senders are not permitted to use opt-in lists that have been sold, shared, or rented. They must create and vet their own lists.

5.1.5 Consumer Information Maintenance and Updates

Opt-in and opt-out requests should be retained and maintained by message senders to ensure that they receive no future messages after opting out. Consumer consent should be honored to minimize unwanted messages. Phone deactivation files should be processed by message senders regularly and any deactivated numbers removed from any opt-in lists. 

5.2 Security and Privacy

Privacy and security should be comprehensively addressed both in the design and operation of messaging campaigns. 

5.2.1 Privacy Policy Message

The message sender should maintain and conspicuously displace a privacy policy. Consumers should be able to access it easily. The policy should describe how the message sender plans to collect, use, and share consumer information. All privacy policies that apply to a particular campaign should be referenced in and accessible from the first call-to-action. Privacy policies should also be consistent with applicable privacy laws and information treated consistently according to the privacy policy. 

5.2.2 Technical Security and Administrative Controls

Message senders should put in place reasonable security measures, including physical, administrative, and technical safeguards. These safeguards will protect consumer information from unauthorized access, use, and disclosure. The message sender should conduct regular testing and monitoring to ensure security controls are working as intended. 

5.2.3 Security Audits

The message sender’s responsibility is to conduct a third-party risk assessment or comprehensive self-assessment of security and privacy procedures for messaging campaigns. These audits should be done regularly, and action is taken to address foreseeable risks or vulnerabilities.

5.3 Content

5.3.1 Unlawful, Deceptive, Unwanted, Illicit Content, or Fraudulent Messaging Traffic Prevention

All reasonable efforts should be made to combat and prevent unlawful or unwanted messaging traffic. These efforts should include illegal spoofing and span. Message senders should take all necessary steps and use tools to monitor and prevent unwanted messages and content. Unwanted messages and content may include:

  • Content or messages that are harmful, unlawful, malicious, abusive, harassing, misleading, obscene/illicit, defamatory, or excessively violent
  • Content or messages that deceive or intend to deceive, for example, phishing messages
  • Content or messages that invade the consumer’s privacy
  • Content or messages that raise safety concerns
  • Content or messages that incite harm, violence, or discrimination
  • Content or messages that are intended to intimidate
  • Content or messages that include malware
  • Content or messages that threaten consumers
  • Content or messages that do not meet age-gating requirements

Message senders must also take the necessary steps to ensure marketing content complies with the FTC Truth-in-Advertising rules and is not misleading. 

5.3.2 Website Links That Are Embedded

Message senders must ensure that any links embedded in their messages do not obscure or conceal the message sender’s identity. There must also be no intention to deceive or cause harm. If a web address shortener is used, the message sender should use a shortener with an Internet Protocol (IP) and web address dedicated to their exclusive use. Similarly, for any web addresses or any websites that redirect from the original website should clearly identify the website owner and include relevant contact information.

5.3.3 Phone Numbers That Are Embedded

There should be no embedded phone numbers that forward to or are assigned to unpublished phone numbers unless the owner of said phone number is clearly identified. 

5.4 Non-Consumer Messaging – Text Enabling Phone Numbers

A validation and authentication process should be in place to verify the message sender’s authority to enable non-consumer A2P messaging. Message senders should only allow A2P messaging using an assigned phone number. A telecommunications provider or interconnected Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services must assign the number.  

5.5 Additional A2P Best Practices for Messaging

5.5.1 Shared Short Codes and Telephone Numbers

Special arrangements may be necessary for the use of shared phone numbers and shortcodes between message senders, service providers, and organizations, businesses, entities, or multiple persons. Once approved, message senders operating on a shared number should be documented. 

5.5.2 Snowshoe Messaging

Snowshoe messaging is a term for spreading messages across many sending phone numbers or shortcodes. Message senders should not engage in this practice. It’s also imperative that service providers take the necessary measures to prevent such practices. 

If multiple numbers are required to distribute like, or similar content, message senders and service providers may need to make special arrangements. 

5.5.3 Grey Routes

A grey route is a method, path, or setting that service providers for non-consumer messages have not authorized. Message senders are not allowed to use these for sending messages. In accordance with these best practices and principles, messages must be either A2P or P2P. 

5.5.4 Commonplace Short Codes

High-volume communications with consumers using non-NANP addresses or 5 or 6 digits use shortcodes. Organizations, entities, and businesses use them for notifying parents of school delays, shipping company delivery notifications, airline flight delays, and banking account alerts. 

The Common shortcode Administration (CSCS) maintains a cross-carrier shortcode registry. 

 In Canada, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) administers shortcode assignments. There is also a Canadian Common shortcode Application Guidelines publication where you can find guidelines and best practices for Canadian shortcode campaigns. 

5.5.5 Proxy Numbers

There are occasions when message senders might use a phone number as a proxy. This number will function as a relay point between a large amount of phone numbers. It might also be used to change phone numbers in some instances frequently. An example of proxy numbers in action is when a ride-sharing service driver wants to communicate with a prospective passenger. Rather than either party having to reveal their personal telephone, they can use a proxy telephone number. 

Potentially, proxy numbers can be reused, thereby creating volumes of messaging traffic that would typically exceed standard consumer operation. In such cases, additional validation, vetting, and monitoring may be required by the service provider. Group messaging using proxy numbers is another consideration. These are looked at in section 6.1 below. 

5.5.6 Toll-Free Phone Numbers That are Text Enabled

Toll-free numbers are a subset of NANP phones and use the following plan area codes: 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844. There are plans to include 833 in the future. Traditionally, toll-free numbers were used only for voice calls. However, advancements now mean they can be used as an identifier for wireless messaging services. 

To protect consumers from unwanted messages, to provide transparency to Responsible Organizations, and to uphold the integrity of toll-free numbers, message senders must operate according to the following guidelines. 

5.5.6.1 Text-Enable Authority

Toll-free subscribers are solely responsible for controlling additional services associated with the toll-free number. Only currently reserved toll-free numbers or those in working status for a toll-free number voice subscriber should be enabled for messaging. 

5.5.6.2 Transparency

To provide total transparency, processes for provisioning messaging associated with a toll-free number should provide or allow for synchronization with a registry or registries providing comprehensive records of text-enabled toll-free numbers and subscribers. Registries should operate in accordance with the principles detailed in Section 6.3 below. 

5.5.6.3 Special Considerations

Toll-free number message enablement should include any shared-use arrangements that are part of the voice service linked to the toll-free number. The service provider acts as the subscriber for shared-use toll-free numbers and is held responsible for upholding the toll-free number’s integrity. They are also considered accountable for protecting subscribers of a toll-free voice service that terminates voice telephony traffic to multiple subscribers. 

6. Cases of Special Use

6.1 Group Messaging

Group messaging may use phone numbers not assigned to a particular individual. Their characteristics may also be inconsistent with P2P messaging. Depending on the characteristics of a service, special arrangements may be required by the service provider to allow for group messaging phone numbers.

Group messaging services must:

  •  Must have in place strong anti-abuse controls and mechanisms
  • Allow members to opt-out of the group at any time
  • Have mechanisms in place that prevent recursive group messaging and cyclical messaging involving more than one group

6.2 Spoofing Phone Numbers

Spoofing is a practice that should be avoided, should comply with any applicable laws, and may require special arrangements between service providers and message senders. It is a practice whereby a message sender causes a message to display an originating number that is not assigned to the message sender. It can also be when a message sender sends a message through a provider other than the provider who will receive or deliver the reply message. 

6.3 Registries

The registries’ dealings should be fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory concerning terms, rates, conditions with messaging ecosystem stakeholders and operating the registry in good faith. 

7. Threat Containment of Unwanted Messaging Traffic

7.1 Core Principles

Allowing consumers to exchange wireless messages with message senders and other consumers is in their best interests, along with the best interest of all wireless messaging ecosystem messengers. Alongside this, trying to eliminate the threat of unwanted messages is equally important.

Wireless messaging is a convenient and trusted way for people to communicate. It is an ideal medium for all communication types because of its retrieval capabilities, high open rates, and immediacy. It is ideal if urgent information needs to be relayed to consumers, for example, flight changes or fraud alerts. Associated with messaging that is spam-free is a high open-rate and level of trust. 

If unwanted messaging or a reduction in the delivery’s reliability is allowed to diminish, it will damage consumer trust in the messaging ecosystem. Therefore, all parties must work together so that the environment can be kept free of unwanted messages. At the same time, we should also take the steps needed to support the continued exchange of wanted wireless messages between message senders and consumers.

To reach this goal, we adopt the following core principles to help protect consumers from unwanted messages: 

  • Use reasonable efforts to prevent the sending of unwanted messages by or to consumers
  • Filter or block any unwanted messages before they are allowed to reach the consumer
  • Notify any message senders sending unwanted messages that we have blocked those messages
  • Adopt unwanted messages traffic practices designed to protect consumers but still allow exchanges of wanted messaging traffic
  • Collaborate with other wireless ecosystem members to maintain the confidence and trust of consumers in wireless messaging services 

7.2 Best Practices for the Containment of Unwanted Messaging Traffic

7.2.1 Consumer Tools for the Mitigation of Unwanted Messaging Traffic

7.2.1.1 Blocking or Filtering Tools for Consumers

Consumers should have the means to block or filter unwanted messaging traffic. Service providers should provide these tools and allow the consumer to manage messages from specific phone numbers, including unwanted messages. 

7.2.1.2 Unwanted Traffic Reporting

Consumers should also be able to report any unwanted messages they receive to their service provider. Service providers must have a system in place that facilitates the receipt of complaints and identifies unwanted messages. One example is 7726 (SPAM) reporting systems. 

7.2.2 Service Provider Communication

Service providers should communicate with each other when appropriate in order to help mitigate unwanted messaging issues. However, communication must be consistent with their unwanted message prevention and mitigation processes, policies, and systems. 

7.2.3 Senders and Unwanted Messages Blocking

The adoption of unwanted messaging traffic practices is vital for consumers to be protected, but at the same time, allows for the exchange of wanted wireless messaging traffic. To protect consumers, their networks, and the messaging system from unwanted messages, service providers can filter or block message traffic. Where practical and in line with their unwanted message prevention and mitigation method, service providers may also notify unwanted message senders that they block the unwanted messages. 

7.2.4 Unwanted Messaging Traffic Disconnection and Suspension

At their discretion, a service provider can suspend the messaging traffic exchange or disconnect another service provider as long as such action is necessary to stop the unwanted messages flow. The impacted service provider should be given notice of the suspension, depending on the circumstances, via appropriate business or operational channels. 

7.2.5 Traffic Transparency

For the wireless messaging ecosystem to be protected from repeat offenders, service providers should consider allocating a unique identifier to message senders or using other tools and processes. 

7.2.6 Mitigation of Unwanted Message Issues

Both service providers and message senders should take all reasonable steps and prompt actions to resolve any issues associated with unwanted messaging. 

7.2.7 NOC or Network Operations Center 

A Networks Operations Center (NOC) should be maintained and kept in service by all service providers. 

Glossary of Terms, Abbreviations, and Acronyms

Ecosystem: (in general use) a complex network or interconnected system.

P2P: A peer-to-peer (P2P) service is a decentralized platform whereby two  individuals interact directly with each other, without intermediation by a third party. Instead, the buyer and the seller transact directly with each other via the P2P service.

A2P: Application-to-Person messaging (A2P) is SMS messaging to which recipients are not expected to reply.

NANP: NANP stands for the North American Numbering Plan and is the numbering plan that includes 25 distinct regions in 20 countries that are mostly all in North America and include the Caribbean and the U.S. territories.

NNP : Net national product (NNP) is gross national product (GNP), the total value of finished goods and services produced by a country’s citizens overseas and domestically, minus depreciation.

Spoofing: Spoofing is the act of disguising a communication from an unknown source as being from a known, trusted source.

CLECs: A CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) is a local voice service carrier that establishes local network interconnection with ILECs (Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers) and/or other LECs to enable local exchange telecommunications services.

ICVs: ICVs means International Crime Victims Survey.

Spam: Spam is any kind of unwanted, unsolicited digital communication that gets sent out in bulk. And it’s more than a nuisance.

Phishing: Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking, and credit card details, and passwords.

Opt-ins: To choose to do or be involved with receiving messages.

FTC: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the U.S. government that aims to protect consumers and ensure a strong competitive market by enforcing consumer protection and antitrust laws.

CTIA: CTIA is a trade association representing the wireless communications industry in the United States. 

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