RECURRENT THREATS TO COMMERCIAL A2P MESSAGING REVENUES - Mavenir

Blog

RECURRENT THREATS TO COMMERCIAL A2P MESSAGING REVENUES

23 February 2018

AUTHORED BY: Ilia Abramov

Not so long ago (October 2017) Bloomberg reported how new start-up SMSChain would enable consumers to sell unused capacity from their SMS allowance to enterprises that wanted to use SMS as a communication channel: $75 each month for 500 messages per day (approx. 0.5c per message), according to SMSChain.

On one hand, it makes sense: SMS can reach more than three times as many consumers as WhatsApp and Facebook combined, and 90% of SMS messages received are read within a few seconds. No wonder enterprise use of SMS is growing. Now, the SMSChain price-point sets out to reduce the cost of sending messages.

On the other hand, SMSChain’s ambitions face some tough challenges.  Firstly, would you want to let anonymous organizations send whatever messages they want to unknown recipients from your phone number? I know I wouldn’t, regardless of the $75 per month I’d miss out on.  However, it is likely to attract some messaging “mules” willing to share a part of their identity and risk the consequences, for a small fee.

SMSChain’s chief operating officer, Oleg Makarov, says the team behind the app will make sure only legitimate messages are sent, but then they seem comfortable turning a blind eye as to whether or not the service violates the contracts between the mules and their Communications Service Providers (CSPs).  Yet these contracts, where they rule out commercial use or reselling, of consumers’ messaging services, protect the mobile network operators interests in commercial messaging: an industry globally worth between $10Bn and $42Bn annually, depending on whose market evaluations you take.

The fact the mobile operators already generate significant revenue from commercial messaging, and that these revenues are set to grow considerably, are key reasons why services like that of SMSChain are going to hit barriers: as much as SMSChain wants to take a share of this market, operators want to protect what is (morally if not legally) already theirs.

SMSChain, in fact, isn’t the first to think of leveraging low-cost consumer messaging tariffs for sending commercial messaging – such practices already sap billions of dollars from operators’ revenues each year.  In 2013, an app called Bazuc was launched that followed a business model almost identical to that which SMSChain now hope to exploit.

Naturally, the operator community is aware that consumer services are being abused, and want to ensure that they can convert it into properly monetized commercial traffic, and revenue.  Many have already taken steps to address it, and many more seem ready to do so.  Machine learning (AI) is being employed to detect and control commercial messaging originating from consumer accounts, and, based on the experience of real-world deployments of Mavenir’s advanced solution, the return on investment can reach break-even as early as the first quarter.

Mavenir’s use of advanced technology, if replicated across all mobile networks, will mean that services like those offered by SMSChain could be in for a hard time.  Indeed, Bazuc had been removed from Google’s Play app store within months, and the company appears to have vanished.  In the meantime, however, no doubt there will be many consumers that unwittingly sign up for the SMSChain service, unaware that when their service provider implements a detection system, they (the mule) are potentially at risk of being pursued for breach of contract, whilst those that induced them to do it disclaim liability.

So, who wants to let strangers send SMS messages from their phone; who wants to defraud their service provider … any takers?


INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT NETWORK SECURITY PROTECTION?

Download the free infographic with crucial steps mobile operators can take to avoid fraud attacks.

Ilia Abramov
Ilia AbramovClick for Bio
VP, GM, Security Business Unit

Ilia has focused on security, fraud detection and revenue assurance in mobile networks for the last five years. Ilia is a member of The GSM Association’s Fraud and Security Group (FASG), participating in various discussions on security improvements within the industry. Under Ilia’s leadership, Mavenir has developed and successfully deployed new generations of products leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning principles significantly increasing the efficiency of fraud detection, network protection and revenue recovery.

Prior to Mavenir, Ilia was with Xura/Acision, where he began forming the security proposition and held various positions in R&D and Product Management.

Prior to working in the telecom industry, Ilia was a business consultant and solution architect at IT Co., focusing on process automation and industrial applications.

Ilia holds a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from Moscow State University.

Related Content

Mavenir extends AI and Analytics Portfolio to enable closed-loop automation and drive digital transformation critical for 5G AI use cases.

Read more >

A zero trust architecture (ZTA) is a cybersecurity architecture that is based on zero trust principles and designed to prevent data breaches and limit internal lateral movement. Support of a zero-trust architecture requires each O-RAN component to comply with established functionalities and protections. O-RAN Alliance [6] has identified several guiding principles.

Read more >

While legacy vendors see the growing momentum for OpenRAN and feel the need to use scare tactics to protect their market position, the facts are clear: OpenRAN means more security, not less.

Read more >

View All

Mavenir extends AI and Analytics Portfolio to enable closed-loop automation and drive digital transformation critical for 5G AI use cases.

Read more >

ENABLING NEW BUSINESS MODELS WITH NETWORK SLICING New Delhi, India – October 16, 2019 – Mavenir, the industry’s only end-to-end cloud-native 4G and 5G network software provider for CSPs was...

Read more >

AI/ML-BASED SOLUTION, COUPLED WITH ANTI-SPAM ALREADY LAUNCHED, PROVIDES PROTECTION AND IMPROVED SERVICE FOR ARGENTINA MOVISTAR CUSTOMERS. RICHARDSON, TX, October 2, 2019 – Mavenir, a leader in accelerating software network transformation and...

Read more >

View All

Mavenir, the software company, presented on day 1 of MWC 2019, promoting its rich communication solutions offered by Rakuten. The key benefits, or the main use cases that...

Read more >

MAVENIR FINALIZES THE PURCHASE OF ARGYLE DATA Mavenir announced it completed its acquisition of computer security services company Argyle Data in a move to enhance its machine learning...

Read more >

Mavenir is introducing a new “white box” element that it says will enable operators to offload traffic at the very edge of the network and to host virtualized functions...

Read more >

View All

A zero trust architecture (ZTA) is a cybersecurity architecture that is based on zero trust principles and designed to prevent data breaches and limit internal lateral movement. Support of a zero-trust architecture requires each O-RAN component to comply with established functionalities and protections. O-RAN Alliance [6] has identified several guiding principles.

Read more >

While legacy vendors see the growing momentum for OpenRAN and feel the need to use scare tactics to protect their market position, the facts are clear: OpenRAN means more security, not less.

Read more >

Mavenir is proud to be recognized as a winner in the Security category of this year’s Fierce Innovation Awards – Telecom Edition for its innovative, industry-leading Security and Fraud Management Suite.  The Fierce Innovation Awards Telecom Edition 2019 Report highlights those showcasing advances in service and equipment developments unveiled during the past 12 months.

Read more >

View All

Open standards, open platforms and open source for cloud native 5G': This talk discusses the benefits and challenges for operators as they migrate towards “open” eco-systems for multi-vendor cloud-native 5G deployments.

Read more >

Join Mavenir's Susie Riley, GM, Monetization Business Unit, for the Transforming Customer Engagement for a New World with Business Messaging Webinar on April 22, 2021.

Read more >

5G Forum Virtual

4 – 6 May 2021

The 5G FORUM annually puts the advances of 5G technology on the stage, constituting an opportunity to exchange knowledge of the practical applications of this technology.

Read more >

View All

Need More Information?

Building the future of networks with cloud-native software that runs on any cloud and transforms the way the world connects.