Is Rogers Going to Block All Application-To-Person SMS?

Recently reports surfaced online that suggested Canadian wireless telephone company Rogers Canada would soon block all application-to-person SMS. This was after VOIP and IP messaging provider Plivo emailed its customers that Rogers has made a policy change that would “directly impact SMS delivery” to Rogers subscribers in Canada.

The email, which was available on Reddit, said Rogers intends to block all application-to-person (A2P) SMS traffic sent to their subscribers beginning November 15th, 2017. Rogers however later said that was not its intention.

 “Rogers stance impacts all IP messaging service providers, including Plivo,” the email said. “We’re working closely with industry partners at this moment to present a unified opposition to Rogers’ stance.”

Users of IP messaging services were alarmed at the news and said it could be an issue for people who use these services to protect their identity. Many users of such messaging services enjoy the anonymity that the services offer even while keeping communication lines open.

Rogers’ customer service tried to pacify customers by replying to miffed tweets. While they confirmed the changes they also stated that SMS from non-wireless numbers would not be impacted by this change.

“We’re working on making sure the SMS traffic originating from non-wireless numbers won’t impact entities using this type of platform. We’ll provide further information on this when it becomes available,” Rogers’ customer support account said.

The company later confirmed it was looking to make changes to the process around messages sent from application to person based methods to prevent unauthorized access and spam messages. It also added that all A2P messages would not be blocked as it wanted to ensure legitimate organizations could contact their clients.

VOIP, or voice-over-internet-protocol, refers to the delivery of voice communications over the internet rather than the switch telephone network and is now becoming a preferred mode of communication among millennials and others. Apart from voice messages, SMS too can be sent through the internet rather than using telephone numbers and are referred to as IP messages.

IP messaging services are usually free or less expensive than traditional text messages from telephone numbers and can be extremely useful for those who require anonymity or discretion in their professional or personal life.  Activists, Journalists and others who don’t want to give away their primary mobile number often use such services.