Industry studies* show that International connections are often the most exposed to A2P revenue leakages and cost bypass. Linked entities proliferate and are frequently subjected to ‘gentleman’ agreements so that SMS can be terminated even for free**.
** The so-called Roaming Agreement rule international relationships between operators, frequently allows free or low cost termination under the principle that such routes shall not be used for commercial purposes.
Protecting international traffic generally has a low impact on budget and manpower foremost if using a cloud based, third party solution.
Domestic traffic protection typically requires significantly larger systems and local set-up which has a major impact on budget and human resources.
Many operators, therefore, choose the first approach under the assumption that domestic connections, smaller in number and managed by account responsible, are more controllable.
The graph below summarizes the experience of two Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the same region and similar in size that implemented different solutions. Both operators had basic protection measures in place and suffered fraud, spam and revenue leakages.
A2P Traffic increase after SMS Firewall Implementation
MNO A implemented a fully-fledged SMS firewall with managed services, and international and domestic traffic control. A2P traffic increased during the first two months after implementation. By the fourth month traffic is subject to a normalization curve: where cost bypass is mostly eradicated and only legitimate traffic is being delivered.
MNO B opted for International traffic protection only and this resulted in some immediate impact but no further growth: In this case, as it frequently happens, domestic P2P routes were less expensive than Enterprise Messaging routes so that cost bypass migrated from international to domestic connections that were not filtered by the firewall. The resulting traffic leakage might be as high as the delta to Operator A traffic.