Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 43 | Page 38

SMS firewalls are the golden standard gateway for securing A2P SMS messaging channels

Rachel Njiru , Director OP Africa , Infobip , on why mobile network operators ( MNOs ), must primarily implement SMS firewall systems to secure their networks and customers .

Despite the influx of over the top ( OTT ) messaging solutions in recent years , application-to-person ( A2P ) SMS messaging remains the most widely used channel by businesses across the African region . SMS reach , ease of use and guaranteed high ROI are top reasons for this , among others .

Although many African enterprises have recently embarked on Digital Transformation journeys , A2P SMS messaging remains the most important channel for companies to interact with customers . It is expected that white route traffic will increase from an average of 61 % to 66 % by 2023 worldwide . Internet , media , financial and entertainment industry lead the pack with SMS volumes that will average more than 50 % contribution . Across Sub-Saharan Africa , mobile money is expected to shape the chunk of this traffic by 2024 with mobile money and RCS expected to grow by volumes and revenue according to a recent report by Analysys Mason group .
While Africa has a significant mobile phone penetration rate , the uptake of smartphones remains relatively low due to prohibitive pricing and low rates of Internet
Rachel Njiru , Director OP Africa , Infobip penetration in some parts of the continent . So , while OTT channels are beginning to focus on securing a greater role in A2P communication in Africa , the market remains restricted .
In the East African region , this is especially true for countries such as Ethiopia , Somalia and Sudan where feature phone penetration is high , meaning that OTT channels are unlikely to play a central role in business to customer communication in the near future . Thus , SMS still plays a critical role in the delivery of this type of traffic , even amid the COVID-19 pandemic which spurred an increase in the utilisation of online and B2B services .
Automated messaging
A2P messaging allows brands to connect with customers , whether via SMS or other chat applications , in an automated manner through specialised software and messaging gateways . The need for this solution arose from businesses seeking the ability to communicate with a large number of people , without typing out each