MTN 3G Card Spam. MTN responds.

Sigh. I suppose what did I expect?


23 Sep (7 days ago)


The answer can only come from the senders side, an active sim on the network is allowed incoming sms’ s from anywhere. This might have been a guessed combination of numbers from the sender’s side.

Kind regards,
Customer Services
MTN Business Solutions


Date: 2008/08/29 11:55:18
Name :Andy Hadfield
Cellular Contact : youwish
Landline Contact :
Email Address :youwish

Subject :MTNLoaded

Message :Hi... I recently got a MTN 3G card (black e220 I think). I received an unsolicited spam sms on that 3G card. How could this be, considering this is a brand new 3G card? I am concerned about the privacy of this number - has MTN given it out? Please could you get back to me. I have covered this on my blog - here - I will post MTN's response to explain the situation - that's only fair... Regards, Andy Hadfield


* My note sent 28 Aug. Their reply came 23 September. WAY TO GO GUYS. Flip them customer burgers.

* While their reply makes sense, does this mean MTN is taking no responsibility for clamping down on SMS spam? The email providers were taught a lesson fairly - methinks this might happen in the mobile space as well.

Am I being unfair?


  1. While they imply that they don't - they don't explicitly say that they do not give your number out - which is interesting.

  2. This could also mean that you have an 083, 073 or 078 prefixed number that is a recycled number of someone that has actually opted into an sms database. whilst networks cancel numbers that are inactive for 90days or more, i doubt opt-in sms database owners cancel numbers for whom the sms bounces.. their revenue lies in the number of numbers they can show their clients they reach.. whether the numbers are active or not.

  3. @kilps I don't think MTN gives numbers out... That's a bit out there. But it does seem there is sweet bugger all spam protection. Or inclination to even think about protecting their customers...

  4. @arthurficial Correct. This actually came up before. Rob Stokes suggested number recycling. However, don't you think MTN should be making some effort (or at least some noise about some effort) to combat this problem?

    Spam could reach horrendous proportions... Send to ANY number with an 083 prefix and you're pretty much guaranteed to reach someone...

    New route for scams?

  5. this has been an ongoing thing since 2004.. MTN has a department called SMC that runs a centre called the NMC.. looks like kind of a cross between Star Trek and the JSE.. these guys can do anything.. i mean anything.

    My guess is they DON'T want to. As long as sms are being sent they print money.

    If we play our cards right we could pull a Jeff Jarvis on MTN.. and maybe the other guys will catch a wake up.

  6. @arthurc. Good point on the printing money. Well, they certainly don't care about this blog and it's readers.

    I think I should write this up properly for Tech Leader.


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