Maximising the potential of your mobile network, part 2: survey the market

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GMS

Optimising the messaging business and network protection are essential to realising the full potential of your mobile network. But how do you go about doing this? In our previous instalment we discussed how C-level management need to evaluate their company’s organisation, to ensure the way their business processes do not hamper monetisation efforts.

Let’s look beyond the network itself for a moment and consider the market in which it operates. Your company could easily be missing out on revenue opportunities, or suffering from vulnerabilities, simply because you haven’t examined the market in the proper manner.


Potential at what price?

A critical element in your monetisation strategy has to be pricing. If your SMS messaging is priced too high people will look for other options, and if it is too low then you’re clearly not getting the proper return for the service you provide.

Pricing is probably the most obvious part of your business to benefit from market intelligence. By determining how to properly price messaging you understand the real potential value of your network – value you create and bring to the market.

Start by understanding your message volumes and sources. It is especially important to properly gauge A2P vs P2P volumes, as well as which services originate internationally. Different types of traffic can and should be priced according to their worth.

However, you don’t want to just consider supply-and-demand – your providers and customers – you also need to consider resilience and context. What are other MNOs charging? How are they able to do so?


Assessing the wider market

A well-protected network can charge an appropriate amount, precisely because it is less vulnerable to fraud and bypass techniques. If a network is poorly protected, however, it will either have to price messaging at a rate where the effort of bypassing its safeguards is not considered worth it, or see messaging diverted down grey routes.

How does this relate to understanding the market? Because even if you have diligently firewalled and protected your network (we’ll talk more about this in a later article), if other players in your market have not also done so they will represent a vulnerability.

A weaker, unprotected network that can’t charge as much for its SMS messaging will be a more attractive partner for message providers and enterprises. Of course it will be: it’s cheaper.

But messages bound for your subscribers are safe, surely? Not quite. If a dishonest aggregator can divert traffic to another network, and then send (using SIM farms) that traffic to your network at P2P rates, that’s a loss to both of you. Their network experiences more load, while you lose potential revenues.

So, safeguard your P2P connections, and make it very clear to your messaging partners and fellow MNOs what you regard as appropriate messaging. Also be proactive in letting enterprises know how your policies and protection measures will affect them (GMS specialises in expertise that includes dealing with such matters), so they know why their messages might not get through, and who is really to blame.


Recognising new developments

An assessment of your market can also highlight new opportunities and ways for you to increase your potential by providing new services or capitalising on market trends.

For example, many MNOs are optimising for A2P, but are unaware of the growing number of opportunities in the P2A market. Of course, this includes RCS traffic generated by new conversational commerce use cases. However it also includes things like P2A SMS traffic used by a number of OEMs to register new handsets.

But it’s not just new opportunities. Have you seen a decrease in 2FA notifications? There might simply be less demand in the market, but you might also be losing traffic to OTT messengers or to voice bypass methods, which let apps or sites authenticate without the cost of a text. If you and your partners are not vigilant, you can miss these and similar revenue leaks which are often hard to spot without looking at the wider market.


Optimisation requires awareness

It should be clear by now that there are many elements, within and without the MNO, that affect the potential of your network. There are often wheels within wheels and determining how each factor combines with the rest can be a daunting prospect.

Messaging partners like GMS exist to help operators/carriers make sense of this chaos. We also, crucially, help refine protection efforts (like firewalls) to ensure that these also have the most impact. In our next article we’ll talk a little bit about this, and how optimising firewall rules and fine-tuning policies helps realise the potential value of your SMS messaging activities.

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