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For us, theres a very compelling market corset style bra opportunity and set of capabilities and assets we have that we can leverage, says Jeff Bak, VP of mobility solutions, Tata.Daniel Mavrakis, VP of the core network and roaming division corset style bra at Gemalto, says that brands can seek to gain reach for A2P by partnering with aggregators that have direct connections with numerous operators, such as Gemaltos Netsize division.

Other types of providers are also launching womens bikinis sale offerings that can help carriers to capitalise on the market, with carrier exchange platform RTX launching its SMS Exchange this January. The platform allows wholesale providers to exchange capacity and seek profitable SMS routes in a financially secure environment backed by major international banking institutions, a sector that represents one of the major growth areas for A2P. Neil Kitcher, MD of RTX, says that other providers tend to treat exchanges separately, rather than tying them into the banking system.

We dont have a rival as a global exchange with suit underwear secure banking, says Kitcher. Were very much clearing up bad debt in voice, and now SMS. Quality control As well as such methods giving carriers greater scope in the A2P market, they help to overcome some major bugbears by providing them with greater control.

One issue that frequently comes up among carriers is the need to block and monetise grey routes, which are traffic routes for messaging that can be used to circumvent interconnection payments. As well as often offering low quality, these mean that carriers can miss out on a significant chunk of potential revenues. The revenue potential is substantial for operators that can deal with this, says Alex Duncan, CEO of messaging platform Openmind Networks. There are lots of grey routes that are not being policed. Global transaction company Syniverse points out that users of these routes can charge very low prices by avoiding termination charges, often delivering messages at 10-20% of prices charged through a direct connection with a legitimate mobile service provider.

The company has noted a 15% growth in detection of grey routes in the past year and expects to see this figure rise to 25% or more this year, saying that the industry is moving towards more advanced automated detection methods rather than the previous manual mechanisms to combat them. Bak says that carriers and enterprises are overall seeking more valuable messaging partners that provide reliable routes, explaining that the SS7 protocol the company uses for its Mobile Messaging Exchange helps in this respect.

At Tata Communications, we are looking to leverage our higher-quality SS7 signalling interconnects to facilitate a more transparent business relationship between the A2P providers and the MNOs that creates sustainable value for the A2P messaging ecosystem, says Bak.

He explains that some A2P providers use the IP-based SMPP protocol as an alternative method over direct or hubbed routes and that this has a lower cost of delivery than SS7, but there is less control in terms of quality and performance metrics.

Others exploit the much lower wholesale prices of legacy P2P routes to offer A2P, but Bak says that this often creates traffic imbalances through the extra messages sent. Bart Vandekerckhove �C head of mobile messaging at Belgacoms wholesale division BICS �C notes how the market is shifting in terms of A2P message delivery.

Theyre going from grey routes to a more structured environment with hubs like BICS, says Vandekerckhove, adding that the company is closing off grey routes and has a huge reach, with links to 350 mobile operators enabling effective delivery of A2P traffic. More and more operators are aware of the missed revenue potential and are reliant on hubs to aggregate and pay out termination charges, he adds. Antonio Baldassarra, director of marketing for mobile services at Telecom Italia Sparkle, says that mobile operators have tended to migrate SMS to several hub destinations to simplify the operational management of bilateral roaming agreements, while the market is seeking a higher level of service in areas such as tracking delivery information and developing interaction with the end user.

Market players are also seeking to introduce firewall services to identify grey routes and block unwanted SMS traffic and spam, which users have traditionally been suspicious of and the industry is now fighting to control. A large number of users are annoyed to receive unsolicited messages on their mobile phones, says Gemaltos Mavrakis. To monetise this A2P opportunity, operators should open a communication channel between the companies and their customers, while avoiding their subscribers being spammed.


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