SMS Filter/Firewall go live strategy

 In Operator News

Last year I held a presentation to 100+ participants in the GSM A WAS event in Bangkok educating the industry on A2P SMS. One of the more interesting questions was one on how to launch a filter function. The person asking the question had access to a filter, but when they activate it, customers complain and Management requests that the filter be disabled.

My suggestion on how to go about launching an SMS filter/firewall is:

  • Ensure filter is in place and has the needed capability and capacity (preferably capturing all traffic – international, national and traffic from own SMSC, and not only traffic coming in via the international signalling). Don’t enable it just yet, but run it in “monitor mode”.
  • Connect a number of A2P providers so traffic has a path when the grey paths are blocked. A good balance is at least a handful – enough to ascertain competition and global reach but few enough not to cause unnecessary “race to zero” and also to save yourself from excessive administration. Please ensure that Beepsend is one of them.
  • Contact all roaming partners and give a firm date when you will start blocking A2P on the mutual forgiveness roaming signalling connections. Also contact national providers and tell them that on the same date you will only allow P2P on your national interconnect.
  • At the chosen date, turn filter on and STAND FAST. There will be issues for some 24 to 48 hours before the world has reacted and rerouted all traffic but after that you will have no issues and a steady revenue flow. Starting to wobble here, then you caused disturbance, customer dissatisfaction but will not receive any revenue.
  • So either do all of this, or none of it. Doing all but the last is a great waste of time and resources.

After this – follow up on statistics. Where there is significant unbalance, this typically means A2P is concealed as P2P. Request AA.19 interworking with partners that show large unbalance in the relations.