MNO weak spots
The A2P SMS market is valued at almost $50 billion. However, for many operators, SMS remains over-commoditized and under-protected. While enterprises are sending more and more messages to their customers, many MNOs fail to see much, if any, increase in A2P traffic or corresponding revenues. In effect, A2P gains are “hidden” – lost to grey routes disguised as other, cheaper forms of traffic.
Substantial revenue losses are due to
- P2P SMS traffic exchanged free of charge
- A2P SMS traffic terminated over free of charge P2P roaming agreements
- A2P SMS traffic terminated over free of charge national P2P agreements and low priced national aggregator/content provider A2P agreements
- A2P SMS traffic terminated over free of charge agreements with global enterprises (OTTs)
- A2P SMS traffic terminated through SIM farms
Increased capital and operational expenditures for
increased traffic volumes with no additional revenue.
Meanwhile, some seek to use operator networks for their own ends: spam, spoofing, malware distribution, flooding, and faking all inflate messaging volumes and overload the network. Performance degradation has serious ramifications for an operator’s revenues – capital and operational expenditures increase, while this traffic fails to bring any additional value to the MNO.
In order to effectively address the problems caused by grey routes impacting operators’ revenue, a deep understanding of the messaging industry and experience with both A2P and P2P traffic are completely necessary.
Monetising a network
GMS’s Managed Services provide operators with complete network control and transparency, ensuring secure message delivery while optimizing revenue generation. Our traffic hub collects and routes traffic accurately and efficiently, while GMS firewalls protect against direct intrusions and mislabeled messages.
- Authorized traffic
- Unauthorized traffic, fraud, spam
Traffic is filtered effectively; grey routes, SIM farms, and other exploits are blocked. New threats are detected and countered before they can affect revenues. Such diligence is vital, as network overload can cause congestion and increase latency, leading to poor user experience for subscribers.
A full Managed Service from GMS is comprised of several key elements
Going beyond the network itself, GMS’ experts review the technical, commercial, and legal context of the MNO. By analysing the mobile messaging ecosystem – both local and international – we get a clear picture of the network which the MNO operates. In some cases, this lets us address grey routes without having to shut down messaging routes, by closing loopholes in legal and commercial agreements. GMS can assist mobile operators in clearly defining precisely what constitutes legal traffic routing.
The main aim of network evaluation, however, is a rigorous testing of the network’s integrity. Doing so allows our experts to see which services are having their information (such as global titles and other metadata) altered or being sent via grey routes. By performing the mobile messaging equivalent of a penetration test, operators can discover the weak points in their network security and fix them.
A complete network evaluation consists of
- Comprehensive analysis of inbound SMS traffic originators
- Comprehensive analysis of the regulatory environment
- Comprehensive analysis of the operator’s SMS contractual relationships
- Identification of international and national SMS partners
- Examination of technical conditions with existing international and national partners
- Survey of the operator’s network
- Testing of the operator’s existing firewall solution (if any)
- Validating existing blocking rules and conditions
- Identification of potential grey routes and unauthorized traffic
- Analysis of current volume & revenues of international and national A2P, P2P, P2A traffic
- Designing a business case using global best practices to maximise the messaging business
GMS experts perform continuous, proactive network scanning and testing for possible unauthorized routes for traffic termination to reveal grey routes using different tools and algorithms. This constant testing of the network results in the identification and prompt elimination of any traffic leakages by closing the grey routes.
Having substantial experience in this field and using GMS’ unique international services database, we can run tests with different scenarios and localization to ensure the network is fully protected, leaving no chance for the traffic to bypass.
International services database management
GMS maintains a database of prominent international services and unique message details associated with each. This simplifies the process of identifying manipulations in the message contents and global titles, which reveal the likelihood of noncompliant routing. This facilitates in managing and continuously updating the rules implemented on the firewall to counter ongoing threats from various manipulations occurring in different services.
GMS can deploy SS7 and SMS firewalls to actively protect an operator’s network, depending on the MNO’s requirements. These firewalls underpin revenue assurance initiatives by acting as gatekeepers to the network. They are critical to asserting control over the network.
GMS’ firewall can be configured to target particular types of message, targeting and blocking altered messages, spam, and fraud. It also blocks grey routes using a configurable blacklist. In doing so, a firewall helps prevent network overload and properly monetise traffic. Our fully scalable firewall solution runs on Linux-based platforms and can be deployed on a physical or virtualized system.
Merely having a firewall is not enough to guarantee sufficient network protection. To properly counter SMS grey routes and eliminate unbillable messaging the firewall must be configured properly.
This means both factoring in the results of the network evaluation and providing continuous updates and (re)configuration in response to new threats. Fraudsters and unscrupulous providers are constantly looking for loopholes and unprotected routes, so firewalls must be maintained, and rules updated just as frequently. GMS’ experts keep a watchful eye on market developments, always vigilant for emerging threats and vulnerabilities.
True network security doesn’t come from one-off projects: it requires constant effort. Acting much like a security agency for mobile networks, GMS provides 24/7 support and protection for MNOs. We work continuously, seeking out and countering everything from grey routes to threats like SIM boxes.
Not only are many of the steps involved in network evaluation repeated periodically to assess the ongoing security of the network, but GMS’ experts also engage in projects to enhance network protection. Many of these efforts not only protect network resources but also protect subscribers, safeguarding the MNO’s reputation.
Training by GMS’ network experts
Our seasoned experts can advise an MNO’s team on potential threats and challenges, and educate them about the ecosystem. We also aim to educate operators on the importance and opportunities of A2P and P2A messaging to help them explore new opportunities for revenue growth.
We take the operator’s context into account and tailor our solutions to the specific requirements of each partner. These training sessions are part of the ongoing support we provide with Managed Services. Throughout our relationship we keep them abreast of all the new and emerging threats and trends, so that together we can proactively respond to risks and opportunities.
Machine learning & advanced analytics
GMS also provides automated artificial intelligence analysis as a VAS offering. By using AI analytics, operators can proactively counter emerging threats before they significantly affect revenues.
A combination of natural language processing and machine learning supports the firewalling effort by detecting illegal traffic. By analysing message content, these advanced AI techniques help us sort and block spam and identify A2P traffic being transported via P2P routes. This real-time protection was not achievable before such sophisticated AI techniques.
GMS ensures reliable traffic throughput, generating clear analytics on message traffic collection and delivery. In this way we improve the visibility of network activity, and the origin and prior routing of messages entering the network.
Our expert team will help you maximize your network security and grow SMS traffic-based revenues. Tailor-made, curated Managed Services will bring real transparency to your messaging,and greatly benefit all aspects of messaging – from A2P, P2A, and P2P traffic; to routing efficiency; to network security.
Secure your network with GMS.Talk to an expert
Our network encompasses 900+ mobile operators, with over 240 directly connected to GMS, which grants instant message delivery to any place on Earth
We have 15 years of expertise in the field of telecommunications. Sharing this expertise, exchanging best practices, and fostering cooperation help advance the cause of the whole industry
GMS has six offices located all over the globe, and an HQ in Baar, Switzerland, meaning wherever you are, GMS is there for you
GMS’ track record includes dozens of successful cases of network security and messaging monetisation worldwide
GMS sets and follows high standards of security, recognized by ISO certifications
We want you to stay on top of the cutting-edge messaging technologies. That’s why GMS regularly provides tailored educational training to operator’s employees
Let’s grow your business together
Contact us to find out how you can benefit from our expertise