Keeping Up with Changes in International Messaging

Feb 8, 2023
Keeping Up with Changes in International Messaging

The last several months have seen massive regulatory change in the telecom industry around the world. Here are some of the highlights.

New sending rules in Singapore and Saudi Arabia

Sender ID is the name or number that is displayed as the sender of the SMS message to the receiver of the SMS message. Countries have different practices around sender ID use. In 2022 Iran, Singapore, and Morocco all began requiring preregistration for sender IDs.

Singapore launched a full SMS Sender ID Registry (SSIR) Regime under which only local business entities or foreign entities with a local physical presence can communicate via text messages.

As part of their efforts to reduce text messaging spam, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) now requires that international businesses that send SMS into the country do so via an aggregator that has a direct connection with appointed SMS hub providers. To comply with the requirements, providers like Plivo need to have a No Objection Certificate (NOC) on file for customers’ messaging traffic. A NOC is similar to a Letter of Authorization (LOA) used in other countries. KSA began enforcing the requirement on February 1. Plivo customers can download a NOC template [DOC], complete it, scan it, and return it via support ticket.

New content regulations in the UK, Iran, and Vietnam

The UK now requires that the content of URLs sent in SMS messages toward the UK be preapproved by a service provider. Businesses must share with their provider their company name and website address, their sender ID, and the contents of the messages they plan to send.

Iran now scrubs messages at an operator level for all messages that contain URLs.

Vietnam now requires content whitelisting at an operator level.

New short code requirements in NZ and BR

Meanwhile, regulators in New Zealand and Brazil are now encouraging messages to be sent via short codes; messages sent via other number types will experience poor deliverability. Plivo now offers short codes in both New Zealand and Brazil for a better messaging experience.

A single theme: combat fraud

All of these changes indicate that countries are tightening regulations to combat fraud. Telecom regulators in more countries are beginning to require pre registration and content whitelisting. At the same time, processes around the globe are becoming more streamlined to ensure faster and safer communications. Someday we may live in a world in which, when you receive a message from a Nigerian prince, it really is from African royalty.

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