Real Time Communications Featured Article

Spread of A2P SMS in Africa Represents Global Trend

January 06, 2016

It is no secret that text messaging has become extremely important in both the consumer and business worlds. In readings considered here, business shines forth, and apps that handle everything from encrypted text to time-sensitive documents have allowed such businesses to improve their internal communications by many degrees.

One market that may have sunk under the radar is the geographical region of Kenya. A recent report from the Communications Authority of Keyna shows that local traffic in the country grew from 6.55 billion to 6.57 billion messages in the last year. Lawrence Muriuki, the chief executive of Advanta Africa, a Web design company, commented that businesses have taken to using application-to-person messaging – sending SMS messages from an application, such as a bank’s server, to a consumer device, such as a mobile phone – in order to remain in contact with their customers.

“Though consumers are ditching texting for over-the-top mobile applications like Viber, Snapchat and Whatsapp, small businesses and large enterprises are turning to application-to-person (A2P) SMS messaging as a powerful tool to connect with their customers,” Muriuki said.

That statement makes clear the different between the primary trends present in the consumer and business sectors. Consumers are moving toward specialized applications that make it easier for them to send messages, initiate video chats, and share data. On the other hand, businesses have continued to embrace the simplicity of SMS by connecting their applications to consumers’ devices. This makes it easy for companies to keep in touch with individuals in a non-intrusive manner.

The A2P market, according a report from Transparency Market Research, could reach $70.32 billion in global revenue by 2020. This may largely find speed in the spreading of brand news or dispersion of advertisements, but it may also continue be a helpful tool for enterprises such as financial institutions that wish to alert their customers to actions such as account withdrawals. That sort of helpful text could represent a substantial element in the fight against fraud – a simple action that can have wide-reaching implications.

Given its helpful and non-intrusive nature, customers may be likely to continue to welcome these types of messages from their brands. All types of companies, from financial institutions to retail outlets, may continue to push forward with SMS as a conduit for keeping in touch with customers. Whether they want to fight fraud or just let individuals know about special promotions, it is clear that A2P and SMS are not going away just yet.


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