T-Mobile US CEO John Legere fired back at the Federal Trade Commission, accusing the agency of "sensationalizing" a lawsuit it filed against the carrier for allegedly charging customers hundreds of millions of dollars for purported "premium" SMS subscriptions that, in many cases, customers never authorized.
The Federal Trade Commission is alleging that T-Mobile US made "hundreds of millions of dollars" by knowingly charging customers for purported "premium" SMS subscriptions that, in many cases, were "bogus charges" customers never authorized. T-Mobile said the complaint is "unfounded and without merit."
Frontier Communications may not be a wireless operator, but the telco has launched a new service that allows its business customers to send and receive text messages using their existing phone numbers via a partnership with Zipwhip.
T-Mobile US launched a new program to proactively reach out to customers who were billed for premium SMS messages they received from third-party services to give them the opportunity to request a refund for any unauthorized charges.
Operators are hedging their bets when it comes to over the top (OTT) messaging, embracing specialised OTT companies on the one hand, while on the other continuing to develop their own OTT messaging strategies.
According to initial figures from France's mobile operators, the new year brought further evidence that SMS usage in the country is being increasingly cannibalised by alternative services such as MMS or picture messages and over-the-top messaging apps.
AT&T Mobility, Sprint and T-Mobile US entered into an agreement with 45 states to stop billing customers for premium SMS messages they receive. Verizon Wireless is not part of the settlement but said that it too will discontinue the practice.
Sprint Nextel MVNO FreedomPop said starting later this summer it will offer unlimited texting and 200 VoIP-based voice calling minutes for free to select Android phone users. The offering represents the combination of FreedomPop's freemium business model with the over-the-top (OTT) messaging trend.
Operators are well aware of the threat that OTT presents, although some of their views--for example, that subscribers only use OTT apps because they are cheap--may be slightly off kilter. Nevertheless, if operators are still in any doubt about the severity of the threat, two reports this week provided some stark figures to illustrate how big a threat OTT is set to become.
New research from Analysys Mason claims the pricing of IP messaging using cross-platform apps or platform-specific services such as Apple's iMessage is clearly more attractive in comparison with operator-provided SMS.