Telecom News Roundup: May 2023 

4 min read

As we’ve moved through the recent weeks of May, some captivating shifts have occurred in the telco landscape. Check out our digest and keep abreast of the latest developments and discussions in the industry! 

MNOs can save over $4.4 billion in revenues between 2023 and 2027 

Operator revenue loss to SMS grey route traffic will decrease by 66% over the next four years, according to Juniper Research. This reduction is attributed to the increased adoption and effectiveness of SMS firewalls, which are projected to save operators more than $4.4 billion in lost business messaging revenue between 2023 and 2027. SMS firewalls work by identifying and blocking fraudulent traffic in real-time, and by 2027, the report predicts that less than 1% of business messaging traffic will be attributable to grey routes, as opposed to the current 4.3% in 2023. 

Juniper’s recent report suggests that operators should think about how business messaging is changing and consider using messaging firewalls as part of a wider security system to protect more than just SMS channels. As RCS messaging is becoming important in the next few years, firewall vendors should include fraud detection and prevention services for this technology. The report also highlights the importance of the Security-as-a-Service model for future firewall development and predicts that vendors will compete based on the effectiveness of their multi-format firewalls and AI-based fraud detection solutions for various messaging technologies. 

Will AI enhance the business messaging landscape? 

Despite certain voices doubting ChatGPT 4.0’s ability to disrupt the business messaging landscape, most industry experts appear to be quite enthusiastic about its potential, Capacity Media reports. Mobilesquared founder Nick Lane, and GMS’ product director for enterprise, Vladimir Gerneshii,  have confidence in AI’s ability to boost engagement between brands and consumers. While acknowledging that some issues may require human intervention, Lane and Gerneshii believe that ChatGPT could help pave the way for wider RCS and enhance the customers’ conversational experience, increasing advertising conversions. Despite lingering legal and regulatory issues, the potential benefits of AI are too great to ignore. 

Experts agree that ChatGPT can enhance customer service and brand identity in AI-powered chatbots, leading to increased digital communication. However, legal challenges and security risks like customer impersonation and data theft must be considered. Although ChatGPT may face challenges, its benefits seem to outweigh the risks. Lane believes it could support current AI systems and encourage more businesses to adopt the technology. However, he also warns that ChatGPT’s vulnerability to external influences may lead to unpredictable results. On the other hand, Gerneshii suggests that ChatGPT’s ability to generate text could enhance messaging in the telecommunications industry by producing more unique content and human-like responses, ultimately improving work productivity. 

Brands spent $6,000 more on A2P SMS in 2022 compared to 2021

The number of businesses using A2P SMS to communicate with their customers saw a 9.78%  increase in 2022 compared to the previous year, says new research by Mobilesquared. Despite this growth, the total number of registered businesses using A2P SMS at the start of 2023 was still less than 25 million, accounting for only 8% of total registered brands worldwide. Nevertheless, this increase suggests that the potential for organic growth of A2P SMS remains substantial. On average, businesses spent $60,706 in 2022, which is higher than the previous year’s average spend of $54,069.  

However, Jo Hall of Mobilesquared notes that these figures are skewed toward larger companies, and smaller brands may have different spending patterns. While only 5.3% of large businesses use SMS, they accounted for 55.1% of total A2P SMS spending in 2022. Similarly, 7.5% of medium enterprises worldwide using SMS still made up 37.8% of last year’s total spending. The author projects, that while as much as a 1% increase in the number of large businesses using A2P SMS would generate an additional spend of $3.1 billion, the similar increase in micro-companies would only generate an additional $191.4 million. 

Indian telcos hike SMS tariffs for big tech 

Large international enterprises like Google, Meta, and Amazon will now be charged 25% more for sending SMS to Indian customers due to a hike in tariffs by telecom operators, reported Mint. It appears that firms will be charged ₹4 per message. This decision has been made amidst concerns raised by overseas companies regarding the high charges levied by Indian telcos such as Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vi for sending business messages such as OTPs, confirmation codes, and updates to Indian customers. 

Recently, Amazon and Uber have reduced the volume of their SMS and communication with Indian customers via apps or emails. The firms have requested the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to levy domestic rates on them as their servers are located in India and have Indian subsidiaries. However, Indian telcos are adamant that since international enterprises host their application and user databases outside India, which are then used to communicate with local servers, international rates should be charged. 

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