t-Mobile settles SMS blockade case [telecom]

Background: Just like "vanity numbers" for the telephone network, there are similar shortcuts for SMS transmissions.

A company called "ez texting" offers a shared service, letting numerous companies use its abbreviated number for their own marketing.

To use their example (again, this is theirs...) someone texting "church" to that number would get a list of (advertised) church services, while someone texting the word "party" would get a list of party rental services.

A couple of months ago they got into a dispute with T-Mobile. Seems that one of their clients was a medical marijuana distributer. While the court papers didn't list the code word, presumably if you texted something like "maryjane" you'd get back a list of local facilities.

There's some dispute as to the timeline, with EZ claiming they had already dropped the marijuana group from their lineup. In any event, T-Mobile began blocking _all_ messages to the short cut, thus not only cutting off the pot folk, but also all the other customers.

The complainant also claimed that TM blocked msgs from them to TM subscribers, which sounds a bit trickier to do. And quite a bit messier

In any event, the battle was "was settled out of court Friday" [a] with TM agreeing to stop its global blocking of messages to EZ. However, "lawyers declined to say whether T-Mobile had to allow texts from the medical marijuana info service."

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_____________________________________________________ Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key snipped-for-privacy@panix.com [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]

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danny burstein
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