Telecoms to lose $62 bn revenue from grey route A2P traffic

4G networks and videoTelecom operators will lose $62 billion revenue from “grey route” A2P traffic over the next six years, despite the increased deployment of firewalls and other security measures.

The scale of the price differential between A2P and P2P is the primary reason for the high levels of grey route traffic – essentially A2P messages masquerading as P2P (Person to Person) messages and delivered via non-interconnected routes.

The trend has become more pronounced as telecom operators have offered high-volume, low cost SMS bundles to cope with the challenge of OTT messaging services, with grey route traffic accounting for more than 30 percent of all A2P messages.

The typical cost of an A2P message using grey routes was 25 percent of a directly connected A2P message, with many enterprises understandably drawn to the lower priced offerings.

Unless the incidence of grey route traffic was reduced, then enterprises might become dissatisfied with the mechanism.

Juniper Research’s research author Windsor Holden said: “Companies that are unwittingly using grey route traffic risk having their messages delayed or simply not delivered, which would be unacceptable for those using A2P for time-critical alerts or authentications.”

Though A2P text messages were likely to predominate in the medium term, lower-cost OTT offerings were pose a greater challenge by the end of the decade. WhatsApp was currently developing a set of tools to create an enterprise solution, while Viber has already introduced an API for A2P messaging.

Banking represents the most popular vertical for A2P messaging, with more than 1 billion consumers worldwide receiving notification services from their banks.

Telecom operators need to make investment in next-generation filter systems capable of analysing traffic flows and hence identifying and blocking grey route traffic.