Mobile Spam

The GSMA has developed a Mobile Spam Code of Practice, which brings together the world’s leading mobile operators in a coordinated effort to prevent Spam becoming an issue on mobile networks.

The Code of Practice is voluntary and applies specifically to three types of unsolicited SMS and MMS messages:

  • Commercial messages sent to customers without their consent
  • Commercial messages sent to customers encouraging them directly or indirectly to call or send a message to a premium rate number
  • Bulk unlawful or fraudulent messages sent to customers, including faking, spoofing or scam messages

Leading operators from around the world, whose group operations cover over 70 countries and over 900 million mobile users, have joined forces to tackle mobile Spam and signed the Code of Practice.

Under the Code, mobile operators commit to:

  • Include anti-Spam conditions in all new contracts with third party suppliers;
  • Provide a mechanism that ensures appropriate customer consent and effective customer control with respect to mobile operators’ own marketing communications;
  • Work co-operatively with other mobile operators to address Spam issues;
  • Provide customers with information and resources to help them minimise the level and impact of mobile Spam;
  • Encourage governments and regulators to support industry.


Among the many provisions in the Code is a commitment by operators to monitor networks for signs of Spam and to provide mobile users with an easy means to report unsolicited messages. Operators also offer customers a clear and efficient means to opt-out of receiving specific SMS or MMS marketing communications.


Often, mobile users opt-in to receive text messages and may forget they have done so. Under such circumstances, the communications are not illegal and, therefore, permitted. Hence, there is a responsibility on stakeholders to educate customers on the issue and for service providers to explain to those that already have opted in to lists that they are receiving permission-based marketing, not Spam.

GSMA Spam Reporting Service

To protect MNOs and their subscribers from the threat of mobile spam the GSMA and Cloudmark have joined forces to deliver the GSMA Spam Reporting Service (SRS). SRS is a set of tools that allows Operators to gather information on spam and identify attacks in progress. Once identified, the Operator can take decisive action to stop the attack and deactivate the spammers access to their network. Visit www.gsma.com/spam-reporting-services for more info.


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