When I started in the messaging business 18 years ago, I remember asking my boss why mobile network operators don’t all enable access to their system through the same protocol.
It was then when I learnt there was no such thing as a full normalization in our messaging business, and when I truly realized what a company like ours could bring to the business: Manage complexity, drive simplification.
Today, our operators’ customers must tackle a new challenge: How to face new technology investments like 5G whilst existing revenues are flattening?
Enterprise messaging could be a good answer to the need for additional revenues – with minimal pain and investment from the operators’ side.
There again, and as in the past 18 years in our industry, the two different worlds of telecommunications (Americas and the Rest of the World) are looking for different solutions.
Americas: Mobile network operators want simplicity
Due to the CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier) and the ability to get a 10 Digit phone number, the OTT (Over The Top) players made money thanks to the businesses that couldn’t cope with short codes option and needed more flexibility and lower rates.
Within CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association), North American operators decided that 10 Digit Long Code (10 DLC) could transmit enterprise messaging (A2P) as long as it follows certain rulesets. This is what operators called “Messaging Curation”.
MNOs in the US would then request a specific tagging of the SMS terminated onto their network in order to classify it as Peer to Peer (P2P) or A2P under certain criteria.
But the key question there is “who will tag the SMS”?
The MNOs, quite rightly, don’t care – they just want to be able to identify those SMS. The content providers, quite rightly, don’t care either – they just want to be able to send SMS.
The Rest of the World: Show me the money
The messaging world is disturbed by the SS7 network access in the Rest of the World. The enterprise messaging providers managed to get a direct link to MNO’s network via direct SS7 connection or via another “partner MNO”.
When such “backdoor” SMS comes through using SS7 network, most of the time, the MNO receiving the SMS doesn’t get any revenue – only network usage and additional load. It’s “money left on the floor” for the end operator.
The operators then have to police their SS7 network messaging traffic in order to let the P2P SMS only go through SS7 whilst the A2P traffic is blocked or redirected to a payable content.
Operators then have to implement a SMS Firewall and ensure that they’ll get this A2P traffic redirected through their VAS direct SMPP accounts.
Can this happen easily? Implement a SMS Firewall is one thing. Monitoring this traffic and staying up to date with the latest findings from fraudsters is something else.
Also, when a firewall is implemented, how do you ensure that the A2P traffic will be directed onto the MNO VAS accounts and makes money for them?
Managing complexity: Run simple
Whether it’s The Rest of the World, or the Americas, complexity is an issue that all mobile network operators face. The answer to solving this puzzle is selecting a company who can help you solve your SMS messaging challenges, not add to them.