Understanding your potential: why message profiles matter

Written by
GMS

Operators are always looking for ways to optimise their network traffic and secure the value that traffic generates. In terms of SMS this is often viewed as a question of pricing – but you need to be careful that you do not raise messaging rates in such a way that it disincentivises smaller enterprises, or those for whom messaging is not regarded as “mission critical.”

A common issue in this delicate balancing act is a lack of overall understanding of the messaging business. MNO experts tend to have an excellent understanding of their own business, but beyond the confines of their network their understanding can be patchy at best. This problem is only compounded by a complex, interconnected ecosystem of hubs and providers that makes the ultimate origin of SMS traffic unclear.

Dividing traffic

The first priority is to understand the different potentials of local and international traffic. International traffic can and should be priced higher than local traffic. It has a greater value than local traffic, not just in terms of its utility to the enterprise but also in terms of network resources it uses and the commercial relationships its transit is built upon.

By not distinguishing between traffic origins, you will never receive the full value of your messaging traffic, as a large proportion is being handled for a much lower rate. Yet even when operators do make this distinction, they may still not be dividing traffic into clear, unambiguous “streams.” This requires segregation to ensure that traffic classed as international is handled differently to that considered local or domestic.

We’ve talked about how to segregate previously, and at its most basic this can be achieved by controlling which connections each type of traffic has access to. This gives your traffic a clean, clear delineation into types – and furthermore, depending on the protocol used, you can get more data which can be used to track origins and potential manipulation.

There remains a question, however, of just what traffic you are dealing with. If you are going to separate international SMS from domestic, you must first know which is which. This can often be tricky, since you can’t just rely on global titles or IP addresses to tell you the ultimate origin. You first need to associate these identifiers with a service and understand where this service is based and where it sends its messages from.

Understanding who is on your network

This is not information you can glean from the messages alone. It requires an understanding of the international messaging market – who is sending what messages and for what purposes. Through long experience, expertise and research, GMS has compiled a comprehensive International Services Database. This database gives us deep insights into the companies sending SMS messages internationally, the services those companies support, and the profiles (such as GTs, message contents, and so on) of the messages they send.

Having a detailed profile of international traffic types helps us in several ways. Firstly, it helps in detecting grey routes and SIM farms, since we know what messages should look like, as well as common manipulations used to bypass conventional filtering techniques. Secondly, it helps us advise you, the operator, on how to define ‘international’ in order to clarify contractual relationships (while respecting your market’s relevant legislation and regulations). By rationalising your contracts and their terminology you make it crystal clear to aggregators and hubs who deliver traffic to your network exactly how you will handle the messages they send you.

The lay of the land

GMS’ International Services Database serves as an essential guide to understanding the variety of messaging that traverses your network. It helps to identify both the sources of these messages as well as their purposes and main features. In doing so, it not only serves as a means for defining traffic categories (and explaining the resultant pricing strategy) but also assists in the ongoing work of detecting grey routes and fraudulent messaging, thereby contributing to overall network security.

Speak to our experts today to find out more about how our knowledge and expertise can enhance your network.

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