Operator Groups and A2P

 In News, Operator News

Having met with a number of operators and operator groups recently, I have a few reflections of the current A2P status and trends.

Pontus Berg

Pontus Berg- Head of Carrier Relations

1) Some Operators aspiring to be aggregators have pulled back.

Several operators/groups spent the last two years establishing themselves in the A2P market but we see a trend that they are taking a step back or are decreasing their efforts.

Operators clearly have an obvious edge in selling termination to their own network where they are the original providers. This gives some operators/groups the idea that they would themselves become A2P aggregators, not thinking so much that they wouldn’t have the edge of exclusivity.

The A2P market has two discretely different market pulls which are direct connectivity and price. Clearly operators cannot offer direct connectivity to third party networks. And they also cannot easily compete on pricing, on a market with a plethora of small and agile players who are dedicated to finding market opportunities. Operators are simply not agile enough to be competitive on third party termination.

Conclusion: Some operators and groups are taking a step back from their aggregator ambitions. A2P aggregation is not a pot of gold accessible without attached effort.

2) Operators without filter do not make money from A2P.

Operators are to an increasing degree aware of the grey route issue, where the A2P market finds cheap routes into mobile networks. A large portion is still in a state of denial hoping it’s possible to get by without a filter. Some are trying to block foreign GTs in their STP, thinking this is a valid way to achieve the goal and then complaining that connected aggregators don’t send traffic over the direct links.

In order to monetise this business an operator MUST a) have a working and properly managed filter, and b) in addition provide a reach from the A2P market by connecting a few aggregators. There is no way around it.

An operator cannot convince an aggregator to send it’s traffic direct if the market has cheaper ways of termination at relevant quality. The only effect is that the friendly aggregator will loose the traffic it once had.

Conclusion: Operators without filter will still never make any money from the A2P business.