How to kill your A2P SMS revenues

 In Operator News

A2P brings money to the table. Enterprises communicate with their customer base using SMS, and money ripple down the chain to the terminating operator.

If you are an operator, scared stiff of receiving revenues from A2P, the following is a guide on how to avoid receiving money (and it should naturally be read as fully ironic).

1) Don’t address it

This works. A2P traffic will still leak into your network but you will just not get paid for it.

2) Set a termination rate and sit back

This works. The A2P market will find leakage. Termination for free is in most cases a lot more tasty than the paid rate, so the operator will not receive any money.

3A) Ensure you filter is not efficient

Ensure it’s a filter that doesn’t capture *all* sources (international SS7, national interconnect and own SMS, from both national Large accounts and your SIMs used in SIM boxes). Unless it can do all of these, then yours are still exposed.

Installing a filter, you might get a brief period where the standard setting will block the traffic but eventually the loopholes are found and the leakage is back to normal. The less competent filter you have, the sooner you will see revenues back to slim.

3B) Don’t manage the filter

A filter that can capture all, but where parameters aren’t kept current, will soon not protect the network so leakage can occur, and the revenues will diminish.

Now you have made it difficult to avoid the revenues from A2P, but there are still tricks to avoid revenues:

4) Set the rate to silly high

If the rate is silly high, well above what the Enterprises are ready to pay, they will actively seek alternative means for their marketing (apps, email, OTT etcetera) and the shady player on the A2P market will try all dirty tricks in the book to reduce the rate. SIM boxes will flourish, no matter how you chase them. You might still get short term revenues, but you are doing your best to get rid of the long term revenues.

5) Have different prices for the same service

Differentiation between National and International A2P, will move most traffic to national. That way you at least don’t have to receive the international fees.

6) Make it silly complex

If the A2P providers want to chase you with money for termination, a great way to avoid receiving it is to make it difficult for them. Preregistration of SenderIds, content/body, only allowing ShortCodes and any other administrative procedure are excellent methods to ensure that A2P is not happening and that you don’t have to accept the remuneration for it.

7) Limit the use cases

Certain A2P scenarios need two way communication, which can only happen if there is an easy way to implement short codes with all operators in a country or one operator offer national phone numbers (“long codes”). Don’t offer this, and you have ensured the use for A2P is less.

8) Reduce quality

There are many smart ways to restrict how useful the A2P service is, and hence scaring Enterprises off.

Enterprises like true handset deliver reports, so providing them no such reports or at least only node reports is a great way to scare enterprises off for certain cases.

Restrict the throughput on the SMPP binds. This gives you great control so that the A2P partner doesn’t generate uncontrollable revenues for you.

9) Minimise the service offered

Also never ever offer offnet termination. That would mean you not only earn from your own A2P termination, but also get a margin on other operators A2P termination.

There are many great tricks to avoid monetisation of A2P SMS if you only try. I see many experts in the field out there, who excel in jinxing all opportunities of revenue and pushing the market to grey solutions. Congratulations!