Emerging Trends in A2P Messaging

3 min read

There was a time when the only way to send a message to a wide audience cheaply and quickly was via SMS. However, sending these messages to contacts in different countries was rather expensive.

Since then the messaging market has evolved in various ways. The emerging trends are reason enough for companies to rethink their mass-communication strategies. The old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” might be the mantra for complacent and overconfident companies, but GMS prides itself on being ahead of the curve.

Even if these A2P messaging emerging trends might already be on your radar, we are sure this article will help you understand them better, weigh your options and come up with a decisive plan of action to ensure continued success.

1. Grey Route A2P Traffic

One of the trends threatening to overwhelm the A2P space and a serious issue for MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) is the grey route. Grey routes are any routes that bypass the legal route, which prevents MNOs from benefitting financially from the termination charge established for incoming A2P traffic.

These grey routes are a response to MNOs’ attempts to maximise revenue. Companies pay a premium for A2P services and must adhere to the conditions set forth by the MNOs.

Impact for Businesses:

Although grey routing is certainly cheaper, it comes at a cost. The cost being low delivery rate and unreliability.

This ends up leading people to label A2P messaging as ineffective, not realising that the problem is the providing company. Going through the proper channels and the right company might cost slightly more, but brings guaranteed results and timely delivery to the selected audience.

2. The Rise of OTT Messaging

If there is any form of mass-messaging that can replace SMS, it is likely to be OTT (Over the Top) services. Their increased popularity has significantly reduced P2P revenues for MNOs, and now threatens the MNOs’ A2P business.

In 2016, there were 16.4 billion P2P SMS sent daily. In comparison, WhatsApp messages alone were 42 billion. Facebook Messenger accounted for a further 18 billion. Add to this mix Skype, WeChat, Viber and other providers and it becomes clear just how much P2P SMS has been impacted.

Of course, these figures can be somewhat misleading. Many platforms allow for group messages, so a message sent to a group with ten members counts as nine messages. But of course, the decline in P2P cannot be attributed only to this.

Impact on businesses:

Businesses using A2P messaging are now able to take advantage of some of the same OTT services that have eroded the P2P market.

Employing a dynamic messaging approach that utilises the major relevant platforms and the various communications channels is a must. What is becoming known as the omnichannel proposition is essential for companies seeking to maximise their reach.

3. A2P RCS (Rich Communication Services)

Finally, we have one of the most hyped developments of recent times, and one loaded with potential. Who needs a boring SMS when you can have Rich Communication Services?

RCS allows for two-way communication between senders and recipients. Consumers can respond to RCS messages simply by tapping on their screen. Advertisers and marketers are expected to be the ones most likely to take advantage of it, but its application cuts across all businesses.

However, RCS is still years away from being widely accepted, as only 11% of smartphones in the next five years will be able to accept RCS messages (according to Juniper Research).

As of the end of 2017, there were 7.7 billion mobile subscribers. Nearly 3 billion people use OTT, but only 360 million devices were RCS compatible.

Impact on businesses:

Thanks to the easy two-way communication, RCS will produce considerably better results than SMS, but it will take a few years until it hits its stride. But you should probably consider working on solutions for it already now if your target market deems it necessary, as some mobile phone makers are upgrading their smartphones.


The A2P messaging emerging trends in all forms of messaging can be alarming and overwhelming. But for companies that have mastered the art of A2P, these come as no surprise, and solutions are already available for all current and future developments.

GMS is one of the highest-ranked A2P messaging vendors by global MNOs (according to ROCCO A2P SMS Messaging Vendor Performance Report 2017), and we are very well-placed to help you address your company’s existing messaging challenges and opportunities.

By utilising GMS’s knowledge, experience, cutting-edge solutions and adaptive thinking, you can enjoy watching your business grow steadily and stay ahead of the trend.

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