Leakages and grey areas are bound to open up in any and every sector of business. Someone will always loopholes to exploit and according to A2P specialists Dialogue "grey routes" used for business-led Application to Person SMS traffic has a whopping $15 billion hole in it.
According to a new study led by the firm on 199 mobile networks in 84 countries, more than “half of the world’s mobile operators” are losing out on this potential revenue, with some of the biggest brands using grey routes to avoid network operator charges.
Cause of grey routes
The current situation stems large enterprise customers, such as from banks, delivery firms, brands running competitions, travel and leisure companies who aggressively use SMS for marketing and communication to their customer bases.
These companies deploy SMS aggregators to bypass traditional routes, thus creating a revenue black hole for operators, which are failing to identify and shut down such loopholes in their network.
These aggregators then make increased margins from companies which believe they are paying a fair price.
Plugging these loopholes
Dialogue has been proactive in its findings and has deployed its Sentinel technology to help overcome the issue. It's tests found only 23% of networks showed no A2P SMS bypass activity, while 51% encountered the problem in more than half of all messages, and 28 operators’ traffic was 100% affected.
The company further backed up their findings with evidence from industry body GSMA, which found partial or full grey routing on 75 per cent of 816 operator networks surveyed, including 271 “of the largest and most influential”.
What's next for grey routing
Big businesses are now being warned of the dangers and to begin due diligence when signing with 3rd party providers.
The cost saving may be an attractive factory however the grey route to bypass operator charges increases the chances of non-delivery, provides a safe, profitable haven for the spammers, and risks damaging brand reputation for the brands associated with the messages and the operators themselves.
The industry continues to grow
Research from multiple sources shows that the A2P SMS market will be worth more than $55 billion this year, growing to an estimated $70 billion by 2020 so plugging these gaps is going to become essential to make sure unethical practices and loopholes don't damage the growing market.