The Enduring Resilience of A2P SMS

23rd June 2020

By Rafael Rodrigues Lucca, LATAM Business Development Director.

Oscar Wilde may have left us 120 years ago but some of his words still resonate strongly. He wrote “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months”. Certainly many of us appear to be immersed in what can be viewed as a ‘throw-away’ society. On many fronts, things alter as fast and frequently as the wind changes direction. This of course could be viewed as a blessing. Or a curse by those who just yearn for stability.

Trends change. This we know. Some come back into focus and indeed fashion, often decades after having made their first appearance on the scene. Others just persist, and all without shouting loudly about it. Calmly getting on with the job at hand, drawing little undue attention. And such is the world of mobile engagement.

On April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper a Motorola researcher and executive, made the first mobile telephone call from handheld subscriber equipment, placing a call to Dr. Joel Engel of Bell Labs – his rival. The handheld mobile phone arms race commenced. 1987 saw the emergence of Nokia with their first mobile phone, the ‘Mobira Cityman 900’.

Nokia exploded out of the blocks but almost became a victim of its own success when in the mid-1990s their supply chain nearly collapsed under the sheer weight of orders. In response, disciplined systems and processes were put in place and between 1996 and 2000 revenues increased 503 per cent. While the company posted some of its best financial results in the late 2000s, the company struggled with the changing environment.

Software was taking precedence over hardware as the critical competitive feature in the industry. At the same time, the importance of application ecosystems was becoming apparent. But Nokia lacked the skills and inclination to engage with this new way of working. Apple arrived on the scene with an almighty thud with their first iPhone on June 29th 2007 and there was no looking back…

Amongst all of this, something appeared on December 3rd 1992 that was to change the way people (and ultimately enterprises) engaged with other people: the first text message, SMS, was sent to a mobile phone.  It caught the imagination of a generation and became an unobtrusive way for people to have conversations with each other. And SMS has just got on with it, working its way into our consciousness such that so many forget just how special it is.

With ubiquity channels like MMS and RCS can only dream of and an engagement rate almost five times that of email, SMS has become a central pillar of the mobile engagement world. 98% of SMS are opened but is it fashionable? Measured by the sheer number of people using it regularly, absolutely. It’s everywhere. A couple of billion people use it daily. However, it has no splash of colour, no real elegance in the true fashion related sense. Its elegance however is in its simplicity. It just works.

A2P (Application-to-Person) SMS has moved up a gear in recent years, becoming something truly 2-way which organisations of all types can count on to drive conversations and engagement across all stakeholders. The channel lends itself perfectly also to the world of user and transaction verification, helping to reduce incidences of fraud. At the heart of all this is the accurate, rapid delivery of content and this is where we come in.

With Velocity from TMT Analysis, our superfast query platform can identify the mobile network of your customers within 5ms, ensuring the accurate routing of your A2P SMS messages.

Our customers use us every day to route billions of SMS messages, provide fraud and identity management as well as bespoke insight and market intelligence on mobile numbers, networks and devices. All something that can and will never go out of fashion.

For more details on our superfast MNP query service TMT Velocity email us at

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