tl;dr: someone thought her boyfriend was cheating because a message he'd likely sent months ago appeared in the middle of the night
While it's likely explained by other commenters as a possible replay of previously sent messages, AFAIK there is no SLA for the guaranteed windows of SMS delivery.
Also, "pretty big consequences" rarely apply when you enter into a "binding arbitration" clause with your cell phone provider.
Congress on both sides is utterly corrupt and unrepresentative and until America wakes up to that fact and stops playing the two-party game nothing will change. (duvergers law has many weaknesses)
and I think you mean backwards, SMS over TCP.
Also, SMS over TCP sounds somewhat reasonable, so I didn't wanna go with that.
TCP over BlockChain over SMS
Remember how in the olden days, you sometimes got multiple copies of a single text? That was because the sender had marked "DR required", and some system along the way was dropping the receiver's DRs, so the SMSC kept retrying.
* 2014 -- if you switch from an iOS device to an Android device, iPhone users who try to send you text messages that are channeled via iMessage will have their messages silently vanish ( https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-fix-apples-imessage-bug/ ; IIRC after a lawsuit, they added a remarkable little support page, https://selfsolve.apple.com/deregister-imessage/ )
* 2016 -- Apple iPhone devices were being used to send text messages which were going to the wrong recipient ( https://wp.josh.com/2016/10/26/divorced-by-apple-in-californ... , discussed at e.g. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12797249 )
(Ask me how I know this.)
I have a few Google Fi data only sims and as soon as I put one in an iPhone, iMessages to the original sims number stop going through at all.
I remember there used to be issues like this when people switched to Android. Though this could still be an issue and maybe inserting a sim with a different number causes Apple to automatically unregister the original number, but just moving the sim does not.
So even if your phone isn't using imessage, if your computer or ipad is, they'll receive the imessages and apple doesn't also send a text in addition to the imessage for the non-Apple device.
> On Thursday afternoon, after many unreciprocated emails were sent to carriers, a spokesman for Verizon suggested that the answer might lie with a third-party text message service provider called Syniverse Technologies, in Tampa, Fla.
> Was Syniverse the vendor responsible?
> “You really need to ask them that,” the Verizon spokesman said.
> ...Late in the afternoon on Thursday, a spokesman for the company, Kevin Petschow, said in an email: “During an internal maintenance cycle last night, 168,149 previously undelivered text messages were inadvertently sent to multiple mobile operators’ subscribers.”
But maybe it's an obvious guess to a wide number of people with knowledge of that general ecosystem of companies.
No strong carrier affiliation for senders or receivers suggests an intermediary. Not a lot of those in the US; Syniverse, maybe SAP (Sybase 365); I don't think Bandwidth does intercarrier work.