Zero Shades of Grey – A2P SMS Industry to Clamp Down on Grey Route Messaging
It’s time for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to clamp down on grey route messaging and ensure that they are no longer losing out on much needed A2P (Application-to-Person) SMS revenues. According to Juniper Research this will potentially cost the industry $600m in lost revenue alone. There are still low cost, unreliable, grey routes in the A2P SMS market and where there are legitimate (on-net) routes available these are not being utilised to deliver A2P SMS messages.
To help tidy up the market, brands also need to be aware of how A2P SMS messages are being delivered to their customers, especially if they are delivering mission critical, time sensitive messages as slow or non-delivery can be damaging to the brand image.
How Grey Routes Affect an MNO
MNOs are still losing A2P SMS revenues as vendors in the market continue to look for the cheapest low cost routes to deliver A2P messages. The grey route market not only eliminates significant revenues that should rightfully flow to the mobile operators, but it also impacts A2P SMS market prices too. The combination of rock bottom pricing and non-legitimate routes, is leading to disorderly markets, damaging levels of spam and potential security threats. With customer churn rates increasing this can also be damaging to the operator brand image if networks do not bring this under control. In the case of Dialogue, we work closely with operators to secure the network from A2P fraud, to help reduce SPAM and in turn this reduces customer complaints.
For the industry to be cleaned up, the first thing we need ensure is that MNOs make A2P SMS a priority and they truly understand what is happening in the A2P SMS market. Doing nothing is not really an option as this leaves the network open to further abuse and offering end users a poor customer service. If you think about it, the end users are customers of both the operators and brands, so for both parties this can be brand damaging.
If brands continue using a provider who submits traffic through an unreliable grey route, they can never be sure that the mission critical, time sensitive messages even reach the end user. This not only provides a poor customer experience and increased customer churn rate but can also cause irreversible damage for the brand image for both operators and global brands. Brands have a duty to ensure that the provider they choose to submit these time critical SMS messages is using a legitimate, direct route. The cheapest way does not necessary provide the best quality and reliability that the brand is looking for – I guess they should ask themselves – Am I just looking for a cheap route? Or is brand image, reputation and providing a good customer experience important to me?
Saying Goodbye to Grey Routes
To eliminate A2P fraud, MNOs need to recognise that they first have a problem and then understand the solutions available to block this A2P SMS traffic. Selecting the right partner to help monetise A2P traffic, is critical to its success. Another suggestion is to partner with 2-3 “trusted A2P SMS vendors” who only focus on A2P SMS services and check that they have the right experience and knowledge in the A2P SMS market. It’s also vital to check that the chosen vendors are committed to 100% on-net A2P SMS delivery. This way the MNO can feel confident that the A2P SMS traffic will be diverted back through the legitimate ‘on-net’ revenue generating route.
For more information about Dialogue, please visit the website: www.dialogue.net
As CEO, Perry is currently responsible for leading the Dialogue Group.
Perry joined the Dialogue Group in 2011 as Global Chief Financial Officer after having worked on a project basis with the company since 2005. With over 30 years’ experience in financial, commercial and operational management at board level across numerous business-to-consumer and business-to-business sectors, Perry spearheaded the global consolidation of Dialogue’s financial systems in a matter of days, not weeks.
Perry is a qualified Chartered Accountant (CIMA), bringing with him the added financial and strategic expertise needed to support the Group’s growth.