Launching into A2P SMS? No idea where to start? Read this!

So you’re thinking of getting into the A2P SMS messaging business. Well, why wouldn’t you? Enterprise SMS is a vast and flourishing space. Globally, in every conceivable vertical, companies are waking up to the unique power of the mobile medium.

They understand that mobile communication offers a direct, personal, affordable and two-way channel to every one of their customers.  

Even better, they know that new cloud-based tools are making it easier than ever for them to manage their mobile messaging activity from a simple dashboard – whether they are running promotions, service status alerts or customer care.

This is the reason for the explosion in A2P SMS activity over the last decade. In fact, Mobilesquared says businesses sent 1.64 trillion messages in 2019 and will send double this amount by the end of 2024.

So, yes, we understand why you might want to set yourself up as an A2P SMS provider. Maybe you are a voice aggregator looking to make a sideways move. Maybe you are a complete ‘newbie’.

GTC can help

We are an A2P business messaging consultancy with the technical knowledge to advise on your choice of platform. We possess the industry contacts to recommend vendors. And we have the resources to deliver staff training so that your teams can make the most of the new services you offer.

If you are intrigued, get in touch and we will walk you through the process of getting started. But in advance of that, please read this high-level ten-step guide…

Blog_A2P business messaging consultancy

Step 1: Choose your A2P SMS platform

Obviously, you can’t deliver A2P SMS services without an SMS platform. But there are a large number of options to choose from. At GTC, we manage multiple different platforms, so we can help you pick the one that matches your budget and works best with the type of traffic you’re going to send.

Step 2: Learn how to use it

You have selected your platform. Do you know how to use it? The SMS space has unique technical features and proven best practices. It’s different from voice, for example. So for most companies at this stage, education will be in order. As an A2P business messaging consultancy, GTC can organise a training session to introduce you and your team to SMS and its functionality.

Step 3: Define roles for managing the platform and processes for running the SMS business

How much responsibility should your team take for the technical management of the platform? How much should fall to GTC? It’s critical to establish parameters early – to define responsibilities and make sure we don’t overlap. Are you confident your teams can manage SMS with the existing processes or are updates required?

Step 4: Set goals

What do you want to achieve with your new A2P SMS business? Create a timeline, determine your goals and specify when they should happen.

Step 5: Define your ‘product’

Some A2P SMS providers don’t think about their ‘product’ at all. They merely give their customers a tech spec and a list of available regions. Don’t make this mistake. Instead, try to formalise how messages are delivered, guarantee routing profiles, create guidelines for suppliers and offer promises of quality. In other words, develop a messaging product that all your customers can rely on. 

Step 6: Make sure everything is working

After you grant us access to the platform, we can check the basic settings: hosting, IPs, redundancy, etc. If you already have some connections, we can go through your customers/suppliers, check their details, and ensure that everything is working as expected. Also, establish a reliable FX source to ensure you can buy and sell in different currencies.

Step 7: Run ongoing tests

With the set-up complete, you will need to test the A2P SMS platform. We can advise you on which testing solution to buy and then integrate it with the platform. We will also get you connected with a mobile number portability (MNP) supplier. This is critical. MNP suppliers can help you can track and manage subscribers who change their details, and would otherwise disappear from your lists.

Step 8: Connect your new customers

When you sign up your first customers and suppliers, you will need to connect them to your platform. GTC can help. We can perform the integration and test afterwards to make sure the connections are working properly.

Step 9: Prepare your customer support teams

Once the A2P SMS traffic starts to flow, you must be prepared for customer support issues. GTC can organise workshops in which we: introduce the fundamentals of A2P SMS; outline the technical side of the business; explain the Level 1 Network Operations Center (NOC) customer ticket details your support team needs to know.

Of course, if you don’t have an in-house team, we can provide level 1 and level 2 support until you hire one.

Step 10: Identify faults and fix them

Faults are a fact of messaging life. GTC can monitor your key destinations on a daily basis. If something looks wrong, we will look for a solution. There could be issues such as missing prefixes or routes not working. We can also monitor incoming price lists, and make sure the rates are as they should be and that everything is uploaded correctly.

In a post-pandemic world, consumers have grown more comfortable with digital brand interactions. And for the vast majority of these consumers, digital equals mobile. It’s for this reason that A2P SMS is booming. Indeed, recent projections suggest the market could generate $74.7 billion by 2026

So it makes perfect sense to consider participating in this amazing business. We hope the above guide throws some light on the set-up process.

If you want to find out more, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Global Telco Consult (GTC) is a trusted independent business messaging consultancy with deep domain knowledge in application-to-person (A2P) services. GTC provides tailor-made messaging strategies to enterprises, messaging service providers, operators and voice carriers. We have expertise in multiple messaging channels such as RCS, Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram and SMS for the wholesale and retail industry.

GTC supports its customers from market strategy through service launch, running the operations and supporting sales and procurement. The company started in 2016 with a mission to guide operators and telcos to embrace new and exciting opportunities and make the most out of business messaging. For more information or industry insights, browse through our blog page or follow us on LinkedIn.

Any questions?