South Korea SMS Virtual Numbers, price drop

The cost for South Korea SMS Virtual Numbers has been reduced with immediate effect.

New rates:

Setup £25+VAT

Rental £25+VAT (per month)

This represents a saving of over 66% from the original costs. There is no charge for receiving SMS and these can automatically be passed to you via the original Auto Responder (HTTP or Email) or over SMPP.

For further information regards pricing, setup and how to use World Text SMS Virtual Numbers for inbound and two-way text messages please contact us.

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Belgium and Turkey SMS Virtual Numbers

SMS Virtual numberNew SMS Virtual Numbers newly added and coming soon.

During 2014 World Text will be adding to its market leading SMS virtual number coverage:

Belgium SMS Virtual Numbers (+32) – Available now

Turkey SMS Virtual Numbers (+90) – Due late 2014

These two key additions will add to World Text’s ever growing inbound SMS services, which will further enable two-way text messages for business, marketing and M2M SMS.

Having a local SMS virtual number which is recognisable can not only be more engaging for the recipients, but in addition to this users replies are often free as part of any ‘text bundle’ they may have on their mobile contract.

Messages to short codes are often not included as part of a users text message allowance, for for extended and multiple inbound / two-way SMS text messages World Text SMS Virtual Numbers would be preferred by the users.

For further information please contact us.



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ICO raids a SIM farm blamed for 350,000 messages

Another SIM Farm Spammer Raided

no-spamLast week ICO seized hundreds of SIM cards, whilst raiding a SIM farm in offices in Wolverhampton.

It’s estimated that the equipment was being used to send somewhere between 350,000 and a million messages.

Sad to say, then, that it will be but a drop in the bucket!

Computer equipment and paperwork were seized, and a residential address was also searched. The investigation is ongoing.

Andy Curry, Enforcement Manager at the ICO, said:

“What we’ve seized today backs the intelligence we had that hundreds of thousands of nuisance messages were coming from this address. The rules on sending messages are clear, and if the evidence proves the law has been broken, we will issue a sizeable fine against those responsible.”

7726 / SPAM Reporting

spamApparently the raid was triggered by use of forwarding to 7726 – the UK wide spam reporting number – if you get a junk text, forward it there!

I suspect this means that they received a LOT of reports, as they need a certain level of complaints before anything happens.

It would be nice if the networks pushed this feature a little wider – general knowledge of the SPAM report number doesn’t seem that great. If every bill or SIM card pack had it prominently shown, then perhaps a real dent could be made in the endless scam and PPI texts.

Better yet would be for the networks to treat a report as an individual block. Report a number for spam and your own number never gets a text from them again. It’s all very well having the legal requirement for SMS to have an opt-out and honour STOP requests, but if you’re breaking the law with your SIM farm, using grey routes on a PAYG SIM, then it’s vanishingly unlikely you’ll honour a STOP request!

The end user has no way of tracing where the texts are coming from, or via which aggregator, so getting off the list isn’t always easy.

Just Cost of Doing Business?

moneyThis raid follows an announcement by the ICO last Tuesday (20th May) that a Yorkshire direct marketing firm and a Devon PPI claims company were told they face fines totalling £140,000 for breaching electronic marketing rules. The companies were linked to thousands of nuisance marketing calls and prompted over 1,200 reports to the ICO and the Telephone Preference Service.

I have to wonder whether fines of that level are remotely adequate – with the level of profit involved in PPI claims it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the company just sees the fine as a marketing cost.

All of us at World Text would like to see better responses and more action – we hate spam and do our utmost to never be part of the problem!

So How Should it be Done?

mobileSimple!  Take an SMS virtual number, or short code (depending on your budget), and then you can honour STOP requests and process a whole range of keywords.  You can direct requests to the right info list, or department, take enquiries on specific products or services etc.

It should be marketing step 1, but not removing people from your lists isn’t going to get you more sales.  What it might get you (aside from the possible raid and fine as mentioned above), is some very irate people.  These people will be glad to mention your company and marketing, albeit for all the wrong reasons!

Even if you’re a micro business that doesn’t have time for all that new fangled social networking, you can appear delightfully accessible with a simple range of keywords on your marketing text number.  It can come in directly to your email and you can reply from there.  Soon you might grow enough that you do have time for all that social stuff!

Isn’t that better than spamming them ’til they bleed, or you get raided?

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Virtual SIM Hosting coverage added

The World Text Virtual SIM Hosting service (aka. VSIM SIM Hosting, VSIM, Virtual SIM Roaming) has had additional coverage added with immediate effect.

SIM cards for hosting and inbound (MO) SMS text messages are now supported from:

Kyrgyzstan – (+996) MEGACOM

In addition to this, 449737 prefix virtual numbers also benefit from this additional coverage.

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Virtual SIM Roaming

Virtual SIM


What is Virtual SIM Roaming I hear you ask!

There are many terms in the telecommunication industry that often get incorrectly used or pinned to services they arn’t really related to. One of those terms is Virtual SIM / Virtual SIM Hosting / Virtual SIM Roaming – so I thought I would try and clarify exactly what these services are and how World Text is the leading platform to ‘virtualise‘ your SIM.

All the services are in essence the same thing, just slightly different terminology used to describe the same process. There are infact different uses that this can be put to, but fundimentally the whole reason to ‘virtualise‘ a SIM is to enable the receipt of inbound SMS virtually i.e. without the need to use a mobile handset or GSM modem.

Why would you want a Virtual SIM?

  • Throughput speed of up to 50 SMS/second (avergae GSM modem no more than 1 SMS/second).
  • No reliance on local GSM tower, computer or power supply.
  • Local number for countries where SMS virtual numbers are not available or suitable.

The Virtual SIM is ‘roamed’ on to our partners mobile networks over the World Text SS7 direct connections, there is no greater reliability, redundancey or speed available in the telecommunications industry than this method.

Many users use the World Text Virtual SIM Hotsing solution for receiving inbound messages as part of their two-way text message conversations and inbound SMS from customers, staff, pupils or even M2M text messages.

Mobile Network Operator Services

We also offer telecom operator testing solutions which utilises the same technology, often enabling far cheaper and reliable end to end SMS delivery testing for their subscribers while roaming abroad or even on their home network. Via SS7 connections with the mobile roaming partner and SIMs provided by the home network carrier, MO/MT SMS can be end to end tested to ensure that the subscribers continue to receive the level of service expected while roaming.

For further information regarding the World Text Virtual SIM Roaming service please contact us.

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Denmark SMS Virtual Numbers

We are pleased to announce the availability of new pricing for the provision of any new Denmark SMS Virtual Numbers (aka Long Number, Virtual Long Number and Virtual Mobile Number).

These Danish Virtual numbers can be used for inbound and two-way text messaging, connecting to you via HTTP REST API, SMPP or even email.

For further information and to request you own dedicated SMS virtual number for Denmark and many other countries please contact us.

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Netherlands SMS Virtual Numbers

In a complete about turn, we are pleased to announce that there has been a stay in execution and World Text can once again provide you with your Netherlands SMS Virtual Numbers for inbound and two-way text messaging.

For further information please contact us.

With effect from 4th April 2014 Netherlands SMS virtual numbers will no longer be available from any mobile network in this country.

The Dutch Consumer & Market authority have taken the decision to not allow inbound SMS virtual numbers. This is due to an application for a new virtual number range being declined for one of the mobile networks and as such they then deemed that it was unfair competition to allow the existing ranges to continue.

There are two options open to users who require inbound SMS from networks in The Netherlands:

World Text VSIM Hosting service – this will enable a local numbers, however current restriction is that inbounds from users on the Tele2 network will not be received. This may change, however there is no confirmed date.

World Text Swedish SMS Virtual Number – This provides full inbound coverage for the main networks in The Netherlands, however users replies would be an international rate message.

We are working on an alternative solution, however at this point we do not know what will be possible and what won’t be.

For further information please contact us.

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The Heartbleed Bug

The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).

The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.

All World Text servers were patched by Friday the 11th of April and SSL Certificates were renewed.  Although we are not aware of any information being compromised, we do recommend that users change their account password.

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EU Data Retention Directive Ruled Invalid

EU Data Retention Directive Invalid

flag-259721_640The EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice has ruled the EU Data Retention Directive invalid.  The full ruling can be found here.

“It entails a wide – ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data, without that interference being limited to what is strictly necessary”

Which seems like a clear victory for common sense.

Why Data Retention?

The directive was introduced as a knee-jerk reaction to the 2006 bombings in London and Madrid.  Having failed to get the required legislation through in the UK, Mr Brown took it to Europe.  If I recall correctly it was heavily defeated here in the UK.

Sadly given the views of current politicians it would be unlikely to be defeated again in the UK.  A British government spokesman said the retention of communications data was absolutely fundamental to allowing law enforcement authorities to investigate crime and ensure national security.

He would, of course, be unable to point to a single case where such retention had helped.

Damningly, the court added that the directive failed to offer sufficient safeguards “against the risk of abuse and against any unlawful access to use of the data”.

No doubt the directive would not apply to GCHQ et al, but it’s the first pushback of significance against mass surveillance.

What Now?

browser-98386_150We should hope that in the interim all ISPs choose to rm -rf * any data they have currently stored.

One ISP in Sweden has already done exactly this.  Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung said he deleted all retained data on Wednesday after consulting with lawyers.

So now we await the first UK ISP to announce their removal of this incorrectly retained data.  I’m not holding my breath mind you.

It is interesting to note that just at the time the EU has the lowest reputation ever here in the UK, there is a lot of common sense coming from Europe regarding surveillance and privacy.  For the first time in a very long time Europe seems to be considering the rights of the individual.

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Capitalism, Freebies and the Entitlement Generation

Ovivo is no More

Ovivo has shuffled off this mortal coil, absolutely no surprises there – the pricing model was pretty weak. They weren’t even directly connecting to Vodafone – they were going through an aggregator – someone else taking a percentage. Few have made ad supported work, but we have been here so many, many times before. For a while in the first Dot Com boom it seemed like everything was going to be paid for by online adverts, except virtually no one aside from Google managed it.

Where’s the attraction to advertisers? Pay to advertise to a self-selected 50,000 skint or tight fisted folks who want something for nothing? Yeah, that’ll work, it’s the perfect target demographic!

ovivo-logoAnyway, I assume Ovivo were warning everyone of this since inception with their cute pink, but dead, rhinoceros logo.

So what did Ovivo bring to the party that Samba, Blyk and countless others couldn’t? Nothing.

There’s a further problem with the ad supported model – almost everyone who’s tried it starts skirting dangerously close to click fraud – click the ad and get 10 more minutes or MB of internet. So no one is clicking the ad because of what’s advertised, but simply to make it go away and give them a bit more internet or phone etc.

If you don’t enforce it you don’t get enough clicks to survive, if you explicitly trade a certain time/data for ad clicks you’re now breaching the terms of most ad networks. After all, what advertiser wants to pay for clicks from people who are mostly not interested in your product, but are only clicking so they can surf Facebook or send a text?

So for the consumer, the only attraction of such a service should be for a disposable, temporary way of getting free service. For a while. You might get six months or a year of free before it (inevitably) closes, you might only get three weeks.

If, like so many in this recession, you’re very strapped for cash it could be a great way to avoid a disconnected phone and keep contact. To expect it to be as stable as the O2s and Vodaphones is naive at best.

The Entitlement Generation

Crying GirlSurprising it may be, but so many still expect something quality is possible for nothing. The internet now has the fake outrage over Ovivo’s closure on Twitter, Facebook and in the comment section of most news stories on the topic.

Today I heard on the radio there is now a petition demanding the government “fully investigate the circumstances of the closure and do everything in their power to ensure that OVIVO customers receive refunds”. Presumably they expect that if the company turns out to be insolvent that our taxes will refund them their 20 quid non-refundable sign-on fee. Really? Expect a government enquiry for a defunct free service?

No one refunded my £50 deposit when a double glazing firm closed 2 weeks after I placed an order, nor would I expect them to. That’s capitalism. If it was a bank with my life savings, well there are regulations already in place.

There are already laws in place to prevent companies trading whilst insolvent. These things usually come as a surprise as it’s incredibly suicidal to advertise that you’re on the brink – doing so pretty much guarantees that all your existing customers will be seeking to get refunds and get out fast.

Usually the staff don’t even know insolvency and closure is coming. In the specific case of Ovivo who knows, but they do seem to have been in dispute with their sole supplier, who eventually turned them off.

So, as ever, caveat emptor (buyer beware). Though is there actually an emptor with a completely free service?

Doesn’t seem to stop the entitlement generation being so, well, whiny and entitled. How dare they? The government must DO something (where something is giving them back all their money).

If perchance you want to sign the petition, you can find it here. Though it won’t be achieving anything aside from providing a little entertainment value!

What next for the Ovivo Customer?

Find another free mobile service, who will likely disappear in some indeterminate time. Expect it, and plan accordingly.
Find a service that suits your needs better, but must be paid for.

Of course if you have a particular need to send texts from your now defunct number, or need two-way texting, World Text can help. We can send with any source address – you’ll need to contact us to set the number as it’s not an active number, or we can provide a virtual mobile number for two way.

We don’t expect many ex-Ovivo customers though as we actually charge for the service we provide. That’s why we’ve been in business over a decade, and expect to remain so for many years to come. Unfortunately to achieve this we have to charge you a little money for what you use!

We have an excellent reputation for support, unfortunately this has to be paid for!

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