Business VoIP Featured Article

Comtech Signs FCC Pledge; Will Add Access to SMS Text Messaging

May 01, 2020

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, Business VoIP Contributor

With people across the country and the world physically distanced from one another, the demand for reliable digital communications technology has been on meteoric rise. Many technology providers have stepped up to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) “Keep Americans Connected” pledge, which was put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pledge invites broadband and telephone service providers, and trade associations to take steps to ensure broad access to Internet and wireless services and the technologies to support digital communications.  To date, more than 700 companies and associations have signed on to the pledge.

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. is one of the companies that has signed onto the Keep Americans Connected pledge. Their Comtech Location Technologies group is working with its mobile network operator partners to provide ongoing and additional access to SMS text messaging, ensuring that Americans do not lose their mobile connectivity as a result of these exceptional circumstances.

Text messaging, already a popular platform for communications in the U.S., has seen a huge surge in use during the pandemic. The nation’s telecom companies are reporting a strong spike in demand. T-Mobile is reporting that messaging is up dramatically, with a 26 percent increase in texting and a 77 percent increase in MMS (pictures, multi-party texts, etc.). The Comtech announcement will help support the increase in SMS, according to the company.

“As an essential company, our employees are literally working around the clock supporting the millions of Americans staying home, social distancing and communicating online with health care providers, essential professionals, family, and friends,” said Fred Kornberg, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Comtech Telecommunications Corp. “Current conditions have resulted in Comtech’s Busy Hour Short Messages or BHSM, a measure of the number of messages during busy hour, increasing to over 400 million messages per hour during the months of March and April, which represents an increase of nearly twice the normal usage.”

The company says it has decided to provisionally waive overage fees for its partners whose end customers have exceeded their SMS usage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“More than ever, we know our technologies are of critical importance and we will work with our partners to support our customers,” added Kornberg. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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