The Mobile Data Association

The Mobile Data AssociationThe Mobile Data Association (MDA) is the not-for-profit industry association dedicated to represent and promote all mobile data centric businesses. Our members include: mobile network operators, mobile content aggregators, mobile phone manufacturers, mobile / mobility application developers, mobile content and information developers, mobile marketing and mobile entertainment providers.


The Mobile Data Association (MDA) is proud to have been at the heart of data communications since 1994. Providing a widely respected neutral platform to bring the mobile communications industry together and disseminate information to suppliers through seminars, workshops, newsletters and session chairs. We have enabled competitors to work through us to deliver innovation and operational standards for the benefit of consumers and suppliers alike.

In these years our membership has changed from early-days hardware suppliers developing despatch systems, Mobile email and navigation specialists, to current application suppliers providing text and other messaging services. Throughout all of this we have worked closely with the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Industry Regulators to assure consumer safety through standardisation and familiarity.

Some of our key successes are:
1997 – Proposing and Chairing the MNO committee to standardise text message formats to enable cross-network text messaging, thus starting the explosive growth of text messaging across all generations.

1999 – Established the website to promote, inform and show data growth in messaging – message volumes. This included education on usage, international highlights and media information supporting the rapid growth during the text revolution.

2004 – We proposed and established, with the Networks, the universal STOP command for text messages to help trace / reduce Spam and inappropriate messages.

2005 - Chairing the MNO committee to standardise and enable cross-network picture messaging, again providing the statistics, news and media information on our website.

2008 – Established with the MNO's, after major trials with, for example, Tsunami Appeal, the national 70xxx Charity Text Short Codes enabling safe, secure, donations for charities free from VAT. This sector grew from zero to over £40 million in the first three years of operation and is now a standard feature of major Charity campaigns.

2009 – Brought together the MNOs to support the BBC’s messaging day with free picture messages for the day for the BBC’s campaign.

2009 – Established the website to assist consumer programming of unlocked mobile phones to operate on their preferred network.

2012 – Set out a framework for single point reporting of fraud and abuse across mobile and fixed devices.

Alongside these highlights we have developed Member policy positions with PhonepayPlus (the UK premium rate regulator) and Ofcom. MDA has also assisted UK Trade and Investment with inward and outward trade missions supporting the UK telecommunications industry. These roles have called upon the wide ranging experience of our members for the benefit of business development, the consumer and the industry as a whole.

As the Internet is now all pervasive with smartphones accounting for 61% of the total active UK mobile phone population in 2014, after a 20th Anniversary review we have concluded that our work is now done and that our on-going interests in charity and security can be better supported elsewhere. We are now closed for further business and wish to thank all those many individuals and organisations who have contributed to the invaluable work we have undertaken over the past 21 years.

For information on our charity work please follow this link to AIME (the Association for Interactive Media and Entertainment)