Troubling New Trends in A2P… and a Way Forward

A2P TechnologyThe volume of A2P (Application-to-Person) messaging is expected to increase by 20% year-on-year over the next 4 years, skyrocketing to more than 2.7 trillion by 2022 (Juniper Research). In addition to “historical” messaging aggregators, new industry players have shown a great deal of interest in this trend, and are openly pursuing unconventional solutions to deliver SMS.

This has been an unexpected turn of events, catching many MNOs off guard and leaving them ill-equipped to properly capture incremental business value from A2P – with astounding estimated losses of $10M in earnings on average per operator, per year (MobileSquared). Beyond revenue leakages and QoS issues, MNOs and their subscribers are increasingly exposed to spam, scam, doxing, unsolicited content reception, and harrowing new exposures to liability.

Liability explosion

Previously hidden, grey offers are now openly marketed and accessible to all SMS players. Many A2P originators and aggregators use grey routes for the cheapest termination into MNO, sometimes as the only way to continue existing in this ecosystem.

Additionally, SIMBoxing – or the use of machines that house multiple SIM cards to bypass genuine termination and feign quality – is also exploding in SMS and voice. SIMBox Farmers are actively (and creatively!) targeting this arena, and to counter their practice, it requires intense coordination.

Finally, the fact that international and domestic P2P accesses are often not properly monitored, the entrance of questionable players and the reselling of international numbers, and GTs (Global Titles) by some MNOs add to the instability mix – each taking its toll on A2P traffic integrity and revenue capture.

Ultimately, with less control of senders, subscriber protection is at stake, raising real and pressing concerns for MNOs.

The (very) thin line between “fraud” and vulnerability

SMS revenue leakage is frequently the result of players using the benefit of backdoors left open or other vulnerabilities, rather than “fraud” per se. A2P SMS firewall vendors and “monetization” players struggle to cover 100% of leakage because of inherent challenges in the MNO setup, which include:

  • Improper coordination of SMS access resulting in inability to counter spam, fraud, spoofing, faking content
  • A fragmented A2P originator universe and the pressure it places on inter-connection and control
  • Unclear role of current SMS hubs, domestic interconnections and SMS wholesale access, resulting in traffic imbalances through the blending of A2P and P2P and partners delivering/reselling their SMS access to the market
  • Overlooked SMS business management (that was not expected to boom as such), resulting in complicated and challenging internal legacies (business and organizational)

Closing the liability gap

The main challenge (and the future) we foresee and address is in identifying the sender and assigning it liability for the content delivered.

iBASIS is working to empower customers with its A2P Managed Firewall/A2P Monetization and Subscribers Protection capabilities, top 3 world class ranking in Wholesale Business Assurance, and a mission to reduce fraudsters’ business impacts through a “zero tolerance” environment.

But, most importantly, MNOs need to permanently ask themselves the hard questions: do I offer an efficient A2P direct access? Do I have an adequate firewall in place? Am I protecting my subscribers from unsolicited SMS services? Am I sure? Over time, and if not efficiently done, this may become even more expensive than the monetization at stake.

Bruno Coindre is Vice President Messaging Solutions for iBASIS, responsible for the development of the messaging solutions portfolio for the company worldwide. Bruno has a wealth of experience in telecom, FinTech and entrepreneurial tech ventures. Identifying high growth opportunities and fast changing environments, Bruno joined iBASIS post its acquisition by Tofane Global to set the strategic path and commercial strategy for iBASIS’ messaging suite.

ABOUT iBASIS

iBASIS is the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide to perform and transform.

Powered by Tofane Global, the new iBASIS is the first independent communications specialist, ranking third largest global wholesale voice operator and Top 3 LTE IPX vendor with 660+ LTE destinations. With the integration of Tofane’s acquisition of the Altice Europe N.V. international voice carrier business in France, Portugal, and the Dominican Republic, iBASIS today serves 1,000+ customers across 18 offices worldwide.

iBASIS Selected by Eseye to Expand and Strengthen Its Global IoT Reach

Eseye Intelligently ConnectediBASIS, the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide, announces today it was selected by Eseye, the UK-based industrial IoT/M2M connectivity specialist to expand its global cellular connectivity worldwide. Eseye leverages iBASIS’ global private secure network and regional gateways to enable its business customers to access device data. Leveraging the iBASIS Global Access for Things service, Eseye’s cellular connectivity coverage in more than 190 countries is immediately extended to 700+ mobile networks and adds LTE and CAT-M1.

Eseye, which recently announced the availability of cellular connectivity solutions on the AWS Marketplace, required fast access to the latest network technology to ensure seamless end-to-end deployment on multiple mobile networks. iBASIS’ Global Access for Things solution results in improved IoT experience and cost benefits for Eseye’s customers, which span multinational enterprises, cross-border fleet and logistics, cold-chain logistics, and asset monitoring and management companies.

Eseye’s Chairman and CEO, Nick Earle, comments, “Working with iBASIS not only enables us to provide our customers with more coverage, newer technologies, and more destinations at a better cost base, but, by leveraging the iBASIS IPX platform, it also allows us to successfully resolve network and connectivity issues faster and more efficiently for our customers.”

“We are thrilled to enable Eseye to deliver a global secure and automated connectivity solution to all their customers,” says Ajay Joseph, iBASIS CTO. “We look forward to working with such an innovative Industrial IoT player and to facilitating IoT deployments, enabling devices to remotely and securely connect worldwide.”

ABOUT iBASIS

iBASIS is the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide to perform and transform. Powered by Tofane Global, iBASIS represents an estimated USD 1+ billion in annual revenue, is the third largest wholesale voice operator, ranks as the Top 3 LTE IPX vendor with 660+ LTE destinations and serves 1,000+ customers across 18 offices worldwide. iBASIS optimizes access, connectivity, and value-added solutions, so customers achieve high return on voice, mobile data, and IoT requirements to be first in their respective markets and in the digital era.

iBASIS provides the end-to-end Global Access for Things™ connectivity solution, delivering single source access for local LTE-M and NB-IoT worldwide provisioned through GSMA-standard eSIM/eUICC technology. The solution simplifies IoT devices connection through one unified platform for seamless, remote, programmable, and secure provisioning management and data analytics.

ABOUT ESEYE

Eseye is a global provider of highly managed global IoT cellular services working exclusively with companies deploying IoT devices. They are an AWS Advanced Technology Strategic Partner for IoT, winners of the 2017 Frost & Sullivan Product Leadership Award; joint-winners of the 2018 GSMA GLOMO Award for Outstanding Contribution to UN Sustainable Development goals, recognized in the 2016/17/18 Gartner Magic Quadrants for M2M managed services; and hold ISO 27001 accreditation.

For further information about Eseye, contact the Marketing Department at 01483 802509 or visit: www.eseye.com.

Wind Hellas Selects iBASIS for Multiservice IPX to Scale 4G Roaming

Wind HellasLexington, MA – iBASIS, the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide, announces that Wind Hellas, one of the largest telecommunications companies in Greece, has connected to the iBASIS IPX network to leverage its full, secure and scalable roaming solution. This includes LTE signaling (Diameter/S6) and LTE Data Roaming traffic (GRX/S8), to enable Wind Hellas to scale and enhance its 4G roaming services for roaming Summer spikes.

Through the iBASIS multiservice IPX network, Wind Hellas gains immediate access to iBASIS’ LTE Roaming footprint of more than 660 networks in 180 countries, which represents 1.5 billion subscribers reached via iBASIS’ direct routes. The move enables a high quality roaming experience for all roamers, especially inbound, given the popularity of Greece as a holiday destination.

With the end of roaming charges in Greece two years ago, subscribers are taking advantage of the new Roam Like Home rules, consequently boosting the demand in roaming services. Greece, one of the four top Mediterranean destinations for travelers, drives inbound roaming revenues contributing to the impressive roaming growth in the country.

“To strengthen our leading position in Greece and fully exploit our newly upgraded 4G/4G+ network covering ~95% population, we strive to provide our subscribers and visitors with superior quality and speed, wherever they are from,” said Vassilis Gkatsos, Head of Carrier & Wholesale Services at Wind Hellas. “iBASIS is a very reliable partner to ensure our service is high quality, offering a fully integrated solution for LTE roaming with redundancy. iBASIS enables us to manage the spikes in roaming usage and better anticipate traffic growth and its associated revenues and costs.”

“Working closely with Wind Hellas, we are able to offer the broadest LTE roaming reach and quality in a cost-effective manner. It better equips them to maximize roaming revenues,” said Alexandre Pébereau, Tofane Global Group CEO. “As an innovative mobile operator, Wind Hellas is taking steps to ensure that it continues to deliver the highest quality services for its customers. We’re thrilled to partner and to help leverage our IPX network and LTE Roaming solution to achieve their goals.”

ABOUT iBASIS

iBASIS is the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide to perform and transform. Powered by Tofane Global, iBASIS represents an estimated USD 1+ billion in annual revenue, is the third largest wholesale voice operator, ranks as the Top 3 LTE IPX vendor with 660+ LTE destinations and serves 1,000+ customers across 18 offices worldwide. iBASIS optimizes access, connectivity, and value-added solutions, so customers achieve high return on voice, mobile data, and IoT requirements to be first in their respective markets and in the digital era.

For the second consecutive year, the iBASIS IPX has been ranked as one of the top Tier One IPX Network Vendors, highly rated by more than 200 MNOs for its leadership, i.e. strategic and local expertise and customer oriented- ROCCO IPX Network Vendors Performance Report 2018.

ABOUT WIND HELLAS

With an annual turnover of €500 million and 1.000 employees, WIND Hellas is among the 50 largest companies in Greece and one of the biggest telecommunications firm. It was founded in 1992 and today serves more than 4,3 mil. customers with converged communication services extending from wireless to fixed telephony & ultra-fast Internet as well as Pay TV. Mr. Nassos Zarkalis is Chairman & CEO of WIND Hellas since 2009.

Believing in the power of a modern world where everything is interconnected and where everything is possible if you are connected, WIND invests 100 mil. € each year in building new generation ultra-high speed networks both wireless (4G, 4G+), as well as landline (VDSL, FTTx) networks all over Greece (Fiber optic network).

Driven by its commitment to offer its Customers an excellent communication experience, WIND is constantly evolving. Customer experience is a strategic priority in every operational activity at all contact points.

iBASIS Launches End-to-End Mobile Messaging Monetization Partnering with AMEEX Mobile Exchange

AMEEX mobile

Lexington, MA – iBASIS, the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide, announces today it selected AMEEX Mobile Exchange, a global independent provider of SMS solutions for mobile operators and enterprises, as partner to launch its suite of end-to-end Mobile Messaging solutions to enhance the monetization of SMS.

iBASIS’ mobile messaging solutions will include application to person mobile messaging (A2P) for real time communications and SMS firewall solutions to protect mobile operators against illegitimate routes usage.

“We carefully selected the ideal partner and look forward to engaging with AMEEX to help our customers fully monetize the booming business of A2P Mobile Messaging worldwide. AMEEX brings the most substantial technology credentials and business knowledge in the mobile messaging area,” says Alexandre Pébereau, Tofane Global Group CEO.

Eric Barbier, CEO of AMEEX Mobile Exchange comments, “The selection process to be iBASIS’ partner in delivering mobile messaging solutions, is a strong seal of approval for AMEEX’s technology and services for P2P, A2P and SMS Firewall services. The potential to rapidly monetize SMS traffic is enormous and we are very excited to secure this opportunity with the iBASIS’ team.”

”The A2P SMS opportunity for mobile operators must be delivered with a complex blend of reporting, filtering and analytics solutions that enable delivers discerning business level decisions. With AMEEX, we now offer a high-quality, high-availability SMS solution for global coverage, with the simplicity and protection they require,” adds Patrick George, EVP Product and Business Development at iBASIS.

ABOUT iBASIS

iBASIS is the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide to perform and transform. Powered by Tofane Global, iBASIS represents an estimated USD 1+ billion in annual revenue, is the third largest wholesale voice operator, ranks Top 3 LTE IPX vendor, serves 1,000+ customers worldwide and brings together 300 employees across 18 offices worldwide. For more information, visit www.iBASIS.com.

ABOUT AMEEX Mobile Exchange

AMEEX is the operator of a global data network of mobile messaging solutions in the Middle East, Africa and beyond. AMEEX offers a wide range of solutions that empower mobile operators and enterprises to connect their subscribers to an expansive international mobile community that spans 83 countries, which are connected by 900 mobile networks. The solutions include global person to person (P2P) interconnection, application to person mobile messaging (A2P) for real time communication. For more information, visit www.ameex-mobile.com or contact info@ameex-mobile.com.

iBASIS Partners with Qroam to Enhance Monetization of Long Tail Roaming

QroamLexington, MA – iBASIS, the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide, announces today its partnership with Qroam, the first wholesale roaming trading platform.

The profitability of roaming business units has been impacted by regulations, decreases in retail and wholesale roaming rates, substantial increases in data traffic and growth in alternative roaming solutions. iBASIS leverages Qroam trading platform to enable its mobile customers with easier access to attractive commercial roaming rates (Inter Operator Tariffs) for medium to smaller roaming volumes in a more efficient and automated way.

“This is a perfect example of the type of solutions we want to enable our customers with. More  than 65% of operators are not doing more IOT discount deals because of resources and time constraint. Typically 80% of roaming traffic is generated by the top twenty outbound countries. Our partnership allows our customers to also optimize and monetize deals for the remaining 20% of their traffic,” says Patrick George, EVP Product and Business Development at iBASIS.

Exclusively designed for commercial roaming teams, Qroam was developed to provide an automated trading platform to unlock discovery of new outbound/inbound opportunities and revenues, while simplifying the process of setting up and managing discount agreements between mobile operators.

“iBASIS strengthens the Qroam trading platform with greater reach and deeper relationships across the mobile industry. We are excited to leverage the traction and dynamism of its IPX community, touching +1,000 interconnects globally, iBASIS is a tier 1 player in the industry with full mobile network reach for roaming across all technologies, on diverse routing, future proof and with full visibility and control. iBASIS and Qroam are sharing the same mandate and strategy to enable mobile operators with novel, easy to execute and profit-driven solutions,” adds Marcel Wientjen, CEO at Qroam.

In addition to concluding discount deals with medium and smaller roaming partners to generate savings, iBASIS’ customers can select back up partners to guarantee best service, and get special offers to cover short-term special events. Combined with iBASIS’ analytics InVision, operators also gain greater visibility, optimization and control over their traffic with sophisticated alarming and identification of specific IMSI behavior.

ABOUT iBASIS

iBASIS is the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide to perform and transform. Powered by Tofane Global, iBASIS represents an estimated USD 1+ billion in annual revenue, is the third largest wholesale voice operator, ranks Top 3 LTE IPX vendor, serves 1,000+ customers worldwide and brings together 300 employees across 18 offices worldwide. For more information, visit www.iBASIS.com.

Nordic and iBASIS Partner on Global Connectivity for Cellular IoT Module

AS PUBLISHED BY NORDICSEMI.COM

Nordic partners with one of world’s largest international cellular data carriers, iBASIS, to offer ultra-easy global connectivity for its nRF9160 cellular IoT module 

Every Nordic Semiconductor nRF9160 Development Kit now ships with a globally-usable iBASIS eSIM to enable automatic and instant ‘out-of-the-box’ cellular LTE-M and NB-IoT connectivity and roaming in a long and growing list of countries with cellular IoT networks.

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that it has partnered with one of the world’s largest international cellular carriers in voice, data, and IoT services, iBASIS, to make global LTE-M and NB-IoT cellular IoT connectivity ultra-easy, automatic, and instant when using its nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) module. 

Nordic has achieved this by bundling a globally-usable iBASIS eSIM with 10 MB of free initial data into all its nRF9160 Development Kits. All a Nordic nRF9160 cellular IoT customer has to do is register their eSIM on Nordic’s nRF Connect for Cloud website to seamlessly connect to the iBASIS ‘Global Access for Things’ network and gain access to an entire range of configurations, monitoring, and connectivity services. 

Although it’s not common knowledge outside of the cellular communications industry, global smartphone connectivity and roaming services are actually provided by only a few international carriers that partner with local national carriers to enable connectivity and roaming for voice, data, and IoT services worldwide. iBASIS is one of the world’s largest international carriers or ‘IP Exchange providers’ and used by over 700 local carriers in over 190 countries. 

As a result, Nordic’s nRF9160 cellular IoT customers get instant high-quality global connectivity without having to go through the ordeal of negotiating and managing multiple relationships with individual local cellular carriers around the world.

Using eSIM technology, they simply leverage iBASIS as a single global connectivity supplier, with a single contract, a single ‘operations’ on-line dashboard, and a single monthly bill that breaks down all global services used. An eSIM is a remotely, over-the-air ‘provisionable’ (programmable) SIM that can hold multiple sets of local network operator credentials in contrast to a traditional SIM card that can only hold one set of operator credentials. The iBASIS eSIM meets all relevant GSM Association (GSMA) standards. 

We are reducing complexity, making it easy to support Nordic’s customers’ global deployment, using a single eSIM, for a remotely programmable on demand service. 

Ajay Joseph, CTO of iBASIS

The nRF9160 SiP – which is available from major global electronics distributors such as Digi-Key Electronics, Mouser Electronics, and Premier Farnell (amongst others) – is significantly smaller, lower power, and has more security features than any other cellular IoT module launched to date for LTE-M and NB-IoT applications. It is also certified for global operation, has a host of unique IoT-targeted features, and is dramatically easier to design-in (see ‘More about nRF9160 SiP’ below).

“iBASIS believes that for IoT to succeed, connecting things should be easy,” says Ajay Joseph, CTO of iBASIS. “We feel IoT connectivity should be turnkey, seamless, and secure. We’re delighted to partner with Nordic Semiconductor to provide an eSIM for Nordic’s nRF91 Series cellular IoT modules. We are reducing complexity, making it easy to support Nordic’s customers’ global deployment, using a single eSIM, for a remotely programmable on demand service. Nordic customers can focus on their core competencies knowing that their cellular IoT connectivity, coverage, speed, latency, and security are all being expertly managed by one of the world’s leading international cellular data carriers.”

“We designed the nRF91 Series from the outset to make cellular IoT easy and applicable to any application that would benefit from a cellular connection,” comments Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor’s Director of Sales & Marketing. “For us, this extends to every aspect of the module’s operation and customer experience and that includes making international connectivity and roaming automatic and instant. In fact, I think for any IoT application to succeed its wireless IoT connectivity must be that simple. With the iBASIS eSIM, we believe Nordic Semiconductor has delivered this to its customers. It’s also why we believe cellular wireless technology is an ideal technology for building the Internet of Things.”

More about the nRF9160 SiP

At just 10 x 16 x 1mm in size, the nRF9160 SiP is suitable for even compact wearable consumer and medical devices yet is a complete solution that integrates everything a cellular connection and IoT application may need beyond requiring just an external battery, SIM, and antenna. 

To achieve this ultra-high integration Nordic partnered with Qorvo to make a System-in-Package that more closely resembles an integrated chip than a module. The nRF9160 SiP leverages Qorvo’s state-of-the-art, proven RF front-end, advanced packaging, and MicroShield™ technology to deliver a unique, ultra-compact solution that combines high performance with low power consumption. The nRF9160 SiP supports global operation with a single SiP variant thanks to the combination of Nordic’s multimode LTE-M / NB-IoT modem, SAW-less transceiver, and a custom RF front-end solution from Qorvo.

In parallel, the nRF9160 SiP is the first cellular IoT module to incorporate Arm’s latest Arm Cortex M-33 CPU core. This is supported by 1MB of Flash and 256kB of RAM on-board memory. The nRF9160 SiP is also the first module to incorporate Arm’s state-of-the-art Arm TrustZone and Arm CryptoCell security for Internet-level encryption and application protection. Both these technologies are designed for highly energy-efficient embedded IoT products that require the highest levels of performance in processing, power consumption, and security. 

The nRF9160 SiP has 1MB of Flash plus 256 kB of RAM on-board memory with a broad range peripheral set, analog and digital interfaces, 32 GPIOs, a stand-alone modem with full LTE capability, plus a multiband RF front-end.  

Another unique feature of the nRF9160 SiP in the cellular IoT module market is integrated GPS support to allow a combination of GPS and cellular data to be used for more accurate positioning than either technology is capable of when used in isolation. Learn more.

How the world’s largest Bluetooth chip supplier came to be in cellular IoT

Nordic Semiconductor is best known for its leadership (both commercial and technological) in the global Bluetooth® chip market. The wide availability of the nRF9160 SiP module marks Nordic’s official – but brand new – entrance into the low power, cellular IoT wireless technology market.

Cellular is a notoriously complex wireless technology that only a handful of engineering teams worldwide truly have the expertise and experience to design at the architectural level. Nordic Semiconductor’s team all originated from outside the company when Nordic hired some of the smartest cellular R&D engineers in the world from a bout of rationalization layoffs in Finland between 2011 and 2014 from companies such as Nokia, Microsoft, Broadcom, and ST-Ericsson.

This means Nordic’s heritage in cellular wireless technology is on-par with any other company in the world: most of Nordic’s cellular IoT design team have been working in cellular design for most of their careers. And most importantly of all, all technical support for the nRF9160 SiP module will come from engineers who designed the product from the ground up.