The data and assumptions contained in this Databook were compiled from exhaustive research, interviews and surveys conducted from September 2020 to June 2021.
A total of 111 companies and individuals have contributed to the research and comprised regulators, aggregators, cloud service providers, solutions providers, firewall providers, mobile operators, and mobile operating groups.
Input on market size, growth, pricing, income and routes covered all 200 markets contained in this report and provides the most comprehensive research so far undertaken by Mobilesquared into the A2P SMS messaging ecosystem.
We would like to thank everyone who contributed their valuable and candid insights, and encourage you to tell us differently if you disagree with any of our working assumptions below.
All data has been anonymised and aggregated (where there was input from multiple sources), modelled and sense-checked and, we believe, now provides the most comprehensive and accurate view of the A2P SMS messaging marketplace.
Our traffic volumes are the result of multiple inputs across all 200 markets covered in this report, showing actual messages delivered for 2020, and the change from 2019 as a result of organic growth and changes in both consumer and business behaviour due to COVID-19.
As a result of the greater input, we have been able to model each of the 200 markets individually for market size, split of international and domestic traffic, and growth over 2019, into 2021, and throughout the forecast period.
Information from firewall vendors and solutions providers on the rollout and adoption of SMS firewalls has, together with insights on grey traffic from aggregators and mobile operating groups, enabled us to model grey traffic by source (international or domestic), per operator, and per market.
We have assumed that where no SMS firewall is in place that at least 80% of traffic is grey.
We have also assumed there will be varying rates of protection where SMS firewalls are in place due to differences in managed solutions, hosted solutions, on-premise solutions, or blended.
Pricing data for each mobile operator covered in this Databook was received from multiple sources – including both discount and premium messaging providers, as well as operators and operating groups.
We have assumed there is now a process where players in the majority of markets charge the same price for both domestic and international traffic, with pricing separation only remaining in around 15-20% of markets where cheaper domestic rates can be accessed provisioned on specific requirements or regulations.
We have used three separate rate cards for our pricing:-
- A discount international rate for large-volume providers – with an approximate 10-20% mark-up on the cost of purchase from mobile operators in 2021 (we applied an average 15% mark-up).
- A premium international rate – with an approximate 30-40% mark-up on the cost of purchase from mobile operators in 2021 (we applied an average 35% mark-up)
- A domestic rate (where available) – typically 20-33% of the relevant international rate for discount or premium providers with the same mark-up applied.
We have assumed approximately 90% of non-direct traffic between mobile operators and brands is discounted, and the remaining 10% is premium.
We have also assumed that 5-15% of all traffic delivered to a mobile operator will be the result of a direct relationship with brands, priced without the above mark-up.
Large mobile operating groups, and mobile operators in mature markets, are likely to see more direct traffic than smaller, independent mobile operators, in developing markets.
Input on the cost of grey route traffic varied from 15-70% of the discount rate. We have applied a rate of 46%.
All monetary values show the actual income for each part of the value chain – mobile operator or aggregator. Total spend is what a brand pays for messaging with the income from that then split (where appropriate) between mobile operator and aggregator.
Potential/ Lost income
Our calculations for potential income treat all traffic (both white and grey-route) as official white-route, with pricing as above.
The lost income is therefore the difference between the actual, and the potential, income.