A2P SMS Grey-Route Traffic Causes Mobile Operators to Lose $21 Million a Day

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A2P SMS grey-route traffic causes mobile operators to lose $7.7 billion annually — a sum equivalent to $21 million a day.

The Global A2P SMS Messaging Forecasts 2017-2022 by Mobilesqaured gives us an in-depth look at the projected growth of the global A2P SMS industry, as well as hot topics and emerging trends in the A2P market. Here are some highlights.


The rapid expansion of social media, digital transformation happening in all industries, new e-commerce solutions — all these changes drive the steady growth of A2P messaging traffic.

There were 1.7 trillion A2P messages sent in 2017, and the market is expected to grow to 2.8 trillion by 2022. This is a 67% growth.

White-route traffic will grow from 875 billion in 2017 to 2.4 trillion by 2022. Total grey-route traffic will drop from 799 billion to 419 billion over the same period.

Revenue leakage

Mobilesquared predicts the potential revenue for A2P SMS messaging to be around $27 billion in 2022. This is almost half the amount of earlier projections from Juniper Research 2014.

The bad news: a huge portion of mobile operators’ revenue is going out through the grey-route market.

The good news: the lost revenue is going down, and will be just under $4 billion in 2022. However, between 2017 and 2022, $30 billion will still be lost.

Is it the end of the grey-route era? Well, yes and no. Let’s be honest, grey-route traffic will always exist, there are always loopholes for crammed messaging hubs to find. On the other hand, the grey-route market is coming under control as more mobile operators invest in next-gen SMS firewalls learn how to monetise their traffic.


Revenue leakage and fraud prevention are now the key drivers for mobile operators to deploy SMS firewall capable of blocking grey-route traffic.

Mobilesquared experts forecast that 85% of mobile operators will have invested in SMS firewall solutions by 2022. Just compare this figure to a lowly 18% in late 2016 and 48% in 2017.

Not just the lost revenue, but SS7 interception attacks may cost mobile operators their reputation and customer trust as well. That’s why global mobile operators are looking to protect their networks with SS7 firewalls inspecting signalling traffic in real time.

While just 6% of mobile operators had deployed SS7 firewalls as of the end of 2017, this figure will rise to 27% in 2019 and 54% by 2022.

So the sooner mobile operators deploy next-generation firewalls, the sooner grey-route traffic can be converted into white-route revenue. Don’t hesitate — protect your network now with GMS Messaging Protection.

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