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The Wholesale Agreement and Solutions Group (WAS) met last week in Istanbul, Turkey for the 19th time. Hosted by Monty Mobile and GSMA, this flagship event is an opportunity for wholesale and roaming professionals to meet, discuss issues and make connections that support the future growth of the industry.

After more than two decades of success, Openmind Networks remains as dedicated as ever to remaining at the forefront of the messaging industry, and we were delighted to have a team of experts on the ground throughout the week at WAS #19, meeting customers, partners and fellow industry leaders. Here are some of the key takeaways from last week’s event.

  • Messaging Fraud

    Fraud actions in messaging networks are growing in volume and complexity. Automated blocking solutions are now the sought after solution for all mobile operators and ecosystem players.

  • Rich Business Messaging

    RBM was the hot topic of the conference with Apple’s upcoming iOS 18 release set to support RCS and possibly RBM messaging on Apple devices. Operators and Groups are seeking solutions to capitalize on this incremental shift from SMS to RCS & RBM.

  • Revenue Leakage

    The ongoing revenue leakage through grey routes, artificially-inflated traffic and message thrashing is pushing brands away from A2P SMS for their one-time password requirements. Revenues are falling at aggregators and mobile operators are seeking a new model for interconnectivity.

One pressing issue that resonated throughout the conference was the escalating volume and complexity of fraud action within messaging networks. Operators and ecosystem players alike are grappling with the growing menace of fraudulent activities, which pose significant threats to network integrity and user trust. The demand for automated blocking solutions has surged, as stakeholders seek robust mechanisms to mitigate fraud risks without having to allocate significant resources from other areas to do so. As fraudsters continue to evolve their tactics, the need to find AI and machine learning tools to combat fraud becomes ever greater.

Another focal point of discussions revolved around rich business messaging. With Apple’s must anticipated iOS18 released poised to support RCS and potentially RBM messages on Apple devices, industry players are gearing up to capitalize on the revenue potential in this change. The prospect of enhanced communication experiences, enriched with multimedia content and interactive features, holds immense promise for businesses seeking to engage consumers in more compelling ways.

Against this backdrop, Operators and Groups are actively exploring solutions to leverage the momentum of RCS adoption and unlock new avenues for revenue generation and customer engagement. However, in a complex ecosystem of actors including Google, developers, operators and aggregators, it is critical for operators to find ways in which they can control message flows from a regulatory perspective.

The perennial challenge of revenue leakage through grey routes, artificially inflated traffic and message thrashing looms large. The erosion of revenues, particularly in the A2P SMS segment, underscores the urgency for reevaluating existing interconnectivity models and forging new pathways for sustainable monetization.

Brands like Google, Meta, X and TikTok are increasingly weary of the rising costs associated with traditional A2P SMS channels. In fact, they are seeking alternative avenues for their one-time password requirements resulting in a steep decline in revenue for aggregators in the past number of months. In response, industry stakeholders are desperately seeking ways to streamline interconnectivity channels so the big brands do not desert A2P messaging.

WAS #19, as always, allowed us to gain valuable insights into our industry and see where the innovation focus needs to be. Against the backdrop of fraud prevention challenges and the rise of RCS, stakeholders are embracing innovation, collaboration, and strategic foresight as guiding principles this year. Istanbul was one of the best WAS events in recent years and we are already looking forward to WAS #20 in Bali later this year.

To learn more about the topics covered in this article, or to discuss how Openmind Networks can help you navigate the future of business messaging, please get in touch or contact our team of messaging experts online here.

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