Grey market creates US$15bn black hole in operator A2P messaging revenues
More than half of the world mobile operators are losing more than half of their potential revenue from enterprise application to person (A2P) SMS traffic which bypasses network charging by using grey routes, according to recent research from Dialogue Communications.
The company’s founder and chief executive, Hugh Spear, claims operators could generate up to US$15bn in recovered revenue in 2017 by identifying and shutting grey route loopholes. “There are some firms out there that are effectively not only cheating the operators but also thier customers,” said Spear. “Taking the grey route to bypass operatror charges increases the chance of non-delivery, provides a safe, profitable haven for spammers, and risks damaging brand reputation for messaging companies and the operators themselves.”
Dialogue’s figures are based on tests it carried out on 199 mobile netrworks in 84 countries earlier this year. The company found that only 23% of networked tested showed no A2P SMS bypass activity. In addition, 51% of networks had significant bypass activity, ranging from just over half of all messages to a complete, 10% bypass for 28 of the operators tested.
Dialogue’s results are borne out by the findings of a GSMA survey which found partial or full grey routing on 75% of 816 operators it monitored.
Spear said that Dialogue is looking to stamp out grey route traffic and has developed its Sentinel system which sits in the operator network to identify and block grey route traffic. It then forces such traffice on the managed operator network and shares the revenues at agreed rates.
“Identifying the grey routes, blocking those messages and forcing them onto the controlled network should be a priority for operators,” added Spear. “They wil reap the cost of employing the technology to force a clean approach ten times over in a single month. The cost does not change for brands, it simply ensures the revenue is more fairly shared, the service delivery is guaranteed and the operator knows what is happening on its network.”