Fergal Parkinson from TMT Analysis considers why mobile network ‘churn’ requires an accurate, fast and global routing solution.

27th February 2020

by Fergal Parkinson, TMT Analysis.

Evidence for the use of butter dates back as early as 2000 BC and the butter churn, the device used to turn cream into butter, has existed since approximately the 6th century AD.

‘Churn’ has now entered the common business vernacular, the rate at which customers stop doing business with an entity. The lower your churn rate, the better you are doing. Simple. Reducing churn however is a topic for another day…

There are 1,400+ mobile network operators and 1,200+ virtual mobile network operators (MVNOs) serving almost 5.2 billion unique mobile subscribers globally. The number of networks changes weekly, the number of subscribers each second. If anything exemplifies progression in Telecoms, this is surely it.

Almost all subscribers today can move (Port) networks whilst keeping the same number. Some networks definitely make it easier than others though: in Israel a typical switch is done within 30 minutes yet over in Senegal it can take 30 days.  Churn rates vary greatly from one country to another. In some countries well over a quarter of mobile subscribers switch operator each year. However one looks at things, there is one common problem: how to stay on top of all these mobile number changes.

Thankfully most countries have seen the light and understand that the best way of tackling this is with a centralised, shared number portability clearinghouse solution featuring the combination of centralising port order request handling and a single national reference database for all ported numbers, enabling direct routing. Countries like the UK are yet to understand the benefits of this centralisation, still sticking with a rather arcane decentralised approach. The mechanism certainly appears overly complex to us and could do with being changed.

At the same time mobile use and mobile interactions are continuing to grow rapidly, particularly new applications like Two-Factor Authentication and One Time Passwords sent via an SMS. Now in its 28th year, A2P (Application-to-Person) SMS is ubiquitous. It is easily understood and with 98% of successfully delivered messages actually being read, it just works. We know SMS is not perfect though. Admittedly ‘flat’, providing no injection of colour, it has little visual impact, a characteristic human beings crave and are naturally drawn to. Yet no other mobile channel has been able to step into its shadow globally and take it on, on its own terms. All this means increasing A2P SMS volumes globally for a few years to come.

But this presents a challenge to companies and organisations around the world who need to get 2FA or OTP messages to customers. With so much traffic, so much Porting of numbers and so many content deliverers globally, the importance of rapid, accurate routing to the correct network has never been more important, which is why Velocity from TMT Analysis is the product of choice helping to make SMS flow seamlessly and reliably. We make SMS work!

Fergal Parkinson is the Director and Co-Founder of TMT Analysis, the leading provider of global mobile numbering intelligence.



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