To some this is a negative, to others a positive, why? Well, let’s look at it from a network point of view.
In this world, networks have what we call interconnect agreements, they’re an agreement between one network and another that allows the passing of voice calls and SMS, and a key part of this agreement are the interconnect fees.
The way it works is that if Network A sends an SMS to a Network B subscriber, Network B charges Network A an interconnect fee for the service.
Now in the real world there are lots of wholesale networks that use SS7 connections between various offshore networks, they do this in order to send messages that bypass the interconnect charges, to deliver messages at a lower rate – it’s not exactly hacking, it’s more taking advantage of legacy connections where agreements relating to SMS interconnect fees don’t form part of their agreement. The upshot, from the networks point of view, is that the networks are missing out on revenue they would otherwise enjoy, therefore they have this revenue leakage.
So yes, it can increase costs within our market, which is bad for the end client, you, however it’s also very good because where aggregators use direct connections, or at least connections one hop from the networks, the service will become faster, more transparent and therefore better commercially supported.
That’s great, but what is filtering again? Basically the networks, in this latest case, Vodafone, monitor where the SMS traffic into their network is coming from, and where there is no agreement, they filter that traffic so it doesn’t get delivered.
What does that mean for the market? A number of aggregators will look to sell their business, increase their process or suffer delivery issues as they try and beat the filtering.
What does that mean for Esendex clients, actually not much, we’re already direct. So what you’ll enjoy is consistency in your service that you’ve come to rely upon.
Whilst we’re pleased so see Vodafone take this step, we’d still like to see the wholesale interconnect fees drop a la the UK, but in the meantime this is a very good step for the industry as a whole.