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Operators Slow to Seize the A2P Messaging Opportunity

David Murphy

a2p messageThe A2P (Application-to-person) messaging market was worth $12.9bn (£10bn) in 2015. This will rise to $58.8bn in 2020 as mobile operators invest in next-generation SMS revenue assurance platform to unlock the gold-mine of white-route messages.

The figures come from the analyst Mobilesquared’s A2P Databook: Global A2P messaging forecasts by country, 2015-2020: Mobile operators key to unlocking multi-billion dollar SMS ecosystem. The study explores the impact of white- and grey-route SMS globally, regionally and in 200 individual countries worldwide.

The study reveal 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 per cent of mobile operators had invested in a next-generation SMS revenue assurance platform by the end of 2015, and forecasts that just over 50 per cent of mobile operators will have deployed such a 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 which 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 also found the rollout of more next-generation SMS revenue assurance platforms will see grey-route messages drop from 65 per cent of total A2P global traffic in 2015 to 19 per cent by 2020.

Mobilesquared’s study highlights 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$82.1bn 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,” said 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%,” added Mobilesquared chief data analyst, Gavin Patterson. “Nevertheless, converting the remaining grey-route traffic to white would see total revenues of $70.1bn in 2020 and average revenue per subscription rise to $0.66 per month.”

Simeon Coney, chief strategy officer at AdaptiveMobile, said his company is seeing strong operator demand for its SMS Revenue Assurance Platform. “We know from our customers that they are benefitting from discovering, profiling and 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,” said Coney. “We are enabling immediate revenue generation from this existing traffic through the benefit of controls, with payback on investment in less than three months.”

There’s more information on the report here.

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