NTT Com helps enterprises fight SMS fraud with A2P SMS hubbing service

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NTT Communications has launched its new A2P SMS International Hubbing Service, which enables enterprises to send Application to Person (A2P) SMS messages for marketing and authentication purposes to mobile subscribers overseas via short, secure routes.

Messages from SMS aggregators (A2P SMS distributors) are relayed to mobile carriers worldwide via NTT Com’s high-quality global network.

The service, which is available now, ensures that mobile network operators, which receive huge volumes of SMS from overseas, provide their subscribers with valid SMS by filtering out spam and other fraudulent SMS. The service also helps OTT players, which deliver A2P SMS to overseas users, and A2P SMS aggregators to improve SMS reach rates and reduce latency.

NTT Com says it is Japan’s only SMS international hubbing service with an anti-spam function. The service blocks SMS sent via fraudulent (gray) routes by using a database of invalid SMS routes, which is constantly updated, so even new types of invalid SMS are blocked. Mobile network operators benefit by earning revenue for valid incoming A2P SMS while ensuring that their subscribers receive less spam. Also, OTTs reach their users with higher frequency by avoiding SMS spam.

Also, says NTT Com, A2P SMS sent to Japan benefit from the service’s short, low-latency routing. A2P SMS sent to the subscribers of mobile network operator NTT DoCoMo are delivered directly via NTT Com’s network, enabling reduced latency, high accuracy and problem isolation in the case of any trouble. Going forward, more mobile network operators will be directly connected to the A2P SMS International Hubbing Service by leveraging NTT Com’s existing network connection with more than 700 carriers worldwide, including via IPX.

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The hubbing service is being offered via a partnership with global A2P SMS provider CLX Communications. NTT Com says the partnership with CLX has enabled it to deploy the new service rapidly and ensures a high-quality service that leverages CLX’s expertise and system.

NTT Com says that SMS usage is increasing due to its ease of use and high reach rate (percentage of messages that users view). SMS has become a marketing tool for enterprises and a means of sending authentication codes because it is not easily susceptible to identity fraud. The International A2P SMS market is growing at a rate of about 10% annually.

However, gray routes are being used widely to distribute SMS, which has raised the need for anti-fraud measures. Certain international hubbing providers engaged in sending and receiving fraudulent international A2P SMS have learned how to misuse the “bill & keep” pricing arrangement that was set up to eliminate interconnection billing and invoicing. Normally, mobile network operators charge for distributing A2P SMS, but fraudulent international hubbing providers pretend to be mobile network operators by using gray routes to avoid paying legitimate fees.

In the coming future, NTT Com looks forward to further strengthening the detection logic of its SMS firewall for enhanced filtering of fraudulent SMS.

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