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  • Cross-sector Working Group provides insights into the requirements to build and operate a successful Application-to-Person (A2P) product or infrastructure

  • Aimed at all stakeholders in the enterprise messaging value-chain, the A2P SMS Features Guide explains design, product and service features categorising them according to three levels of compliance across different roles within the A2P ecosystem

Figures on the actual and forecast size of the A2P SMS market vary but there is consensus amongst analysts that the value of the market is significant: a high-level estimate suggests that in 2016, there were more than 1 trillion A2P SMS sent globally on an annual basis, worth between US$ 10 Billion and US$ 90 Billion.

Its growth continues to be strong, because it is truly ubiquitous, trusted as a channel by consumers and facilitated by a mature technical and commercial infrastructure.

Previously solutions such as A2P SMS or Value-Added Services (VAS) were not significant revenue sources for MNOs when compared to voice, peer-to-peer SMS and roaming fees.

However, regulatory and market shifts over the last ten years, coupled with compelling new use cases, such as messaging’s central importance to start-ups like Uber in the sharing economy, have elevated A2P SMS as an increasingly important source of revenue.

As part of MEF’s Future of Messaging Programme, the Working Group has launched its A2P SMS Features Guide, for all stakeholders, including mobile network operators (MNOs), enterprises, messaging aggregators and app developers.

The guide offers a common understanding and language when discussing A2P product features and requirements in order to:

  • educate MNOs and developers on what features are required to build an effective and profitable enterprise messaging infrastructure
  • give market visibility on advanced features that will contribute to the development of better products/services and user experiences
  • provide MNOs with better tools to curate and manage their A2P SMS traffic, including visibility into classes of traffic and policy controls to support effective management, monetisation, and customer satisfaction
  • support the buyers of A2P SMS with a tool to discuss and negotiate with MNOs

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The A2P Product Features within the guide include:

Platform Features

  • Throughput
  • Latency
  • Redundancy
  • SMS Sending Capabilities
  • Alphanumeric / Alpha SenderID
  • SenderID Management
  • Encoding
  • Timestamps
  • Malicious content delivery protection
  • Delivery Reports (DLR)
  • Consumer-controlled delivery

Design Features

  • Reach
  • Regulatory Framework
  • Fraud Protection
  • Price Notification Period
  • Data Security
  • Integration Technology
  • Portability
  • Processing Capacity
  • Availability

Service Features

  • Client Support
  • Reporting
  • Payment methods

Gabriela Fernandes, Future of Messaging Programme Manager at MEF said: “MEF ‘s Future of Messaging Programme participants are committed to evolving the quality of enterprise mobile messaging services. Alongside tackling the issues related to fraud, the cross-stakeholder working group is also focussed on improving the quality of A2P SMS delivery, as well as its infrastructure and in particular advancing the A2P services that are built on top of MNO delivery platforms.”

Download the A2P SMS Features Guide here.