With Vodafone joining Optus and Telstra to filter traffic with the goal of reducing grey offshore routes for SMS, all major networks within Australia are now filtering. Now, we’re all going to be receiving less spam. Although our opportunity to be a benefactor of our favourite Nigerian Prince via SMS will also be greatly diminished.
Whenever one network receives an SMS from another it charges an interconnect fee (which the ACCC are currently looking at and will be advising on next year) for delivering that SMS. Grey routing refers to the process of networks directing messages in various ways designed to avoid any interconnect charges, passing through international and less secure networks in the process.
In addition to receiving less malicious spam, we expect to see less extraneous messaging too. This is because now there will be polar differences in services. For those with services based purely on grey routes, services will be affected as the networks work proactively to shut down those SS7 routes onto their network. For providers that have under-invested in their technical support, platform and services, they will now be judged by the quality of those services. No longer can the network be blamed for a provider’s poor service. Some smaller SMS providers, that rely on cheap offshore routes into Australia, may have to close down or sell their businesses to larger providers.
For other providers, there are questions to be asked and answered. You may notice that some companies offer standard and premium service tiers. It’s hard to see how this will be possible when network filtering is in place. Previously, cheaper prices could be offered due to using different connections depending on the nature of the customer account. For example, direct connections for premium accounts, indirect connections for standard accounts. Now, there won’t be anything available except the more expensive, secure option of direct connections.
If providers continue having options (ie. gold or silver service) you have to ask what the difference is, because there might not actually be one. So, why should there be a difference in account pricing? There shouldn’t.
Also, if they’re able to offer what seems to be an amazing deal for cheap messages in the first place, keep in mind that this is probably due to dodgy connections. While this isn’t something good to begin with, it’s even worse now that these connections will no longer be available because prices are likely to skyrocket for a service that was already purposely sub-par.
The good news is, connections on the whole will be better across the industry.
To save yourself the drama of seeking out information from providers about message routes, simply switch to a reliable and directly connected service like Esendex.