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New study says mobile operators must overcome risk-averse A2P SMS strategy or lose multi-billion dollar opportunity


The Application to Person (A2P) messaging market could be worth as much as $58billion by 2020, but only if MNOs get to grips with investing in next-generation SMS revenue assurance platforms – which so far many are failing to do.

So finds the latest Databook from Mobilesquared, a leading provider of mobile intelligence and customer insight. It reveals that mobile operators’ risk-averse A2P messaging strategy has resulted in a slow adoption of the multi-billion dollar opportunity.

The mobile intelligence firm estimates that only 15% of mobile operators had invested in a next-generation SMS revenue assurance platform by the end of 2015, and forecasts just over 50% of mobile operators will have deployed the platform by 2020.

White-route A2P is recognised as legitimate messaging that provides payment to a mobile operator for each message delivered on its network, whereas grey route is illegitimate messaging whereby no termination fee is paid to the receiving mobile network. Mobile operators that invest in next-generation SMS revenue assurance platforms are able to convert grey-route messaging into white-route thereby generating revenues for themselves and the wider A2P messaging ecosystem.

The Databook has also found the rollout of more next-generation SMS revenue assurance platforms will see grey-route messages drop from 65% of total A2P global traffic in 2015 to 19% by 2020.

Mobilesquared’s study has highlighted the negative effect grey-route traffic is having on the A2P ecosystem. It suggests the total amount of potential cumulative revenue lost to grey-route messaging traffic terminating on mobile networks forecast at US$82.14 billion over the period 2015-2020.

“Mobile operators are key to unlocking the true revenues associated with A2P messaging. White-route traffic means the entire A2P messaging ecosystem can capitalise on the considerably higher cost-per-message of white compared to the illegitimate grey-route traffic. Grey-route traffic is massively hampering the growth of this sector,” says Nick Lane, chief insight analyst at Mobilesquared.

“Average revenue per subscription is forecast to rise from $0.15 per month in 2015 to $0.55 by 2020 with the proportion of revenues from white-route traffic increasing from 74% to 96%,” adds Gavin Patterson, chief data analyst at Mobilesquared. “Nevertheless, converting the remaining grey-route traffic to white would see total revenues of $70.14 billion in 2020 and average revenue per subscription rise to $0.66 per month.”

“We have seen strong operator demand for our SMS Revenue Assurance Platform. We know from our customers that they are benefitting from discovering, profiling & monetising the broad array of A2P traffic hidden within the P2P SMS in their network, not just the counts and costs of traditional messaging management systems” says Simeon Coney, chief strategy officer at AdaptiveMobile. “We are enabling immediate revenue generation from this existing traffic through the benefit of controls, with payback on investment in less than 3 months.”


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