Wednesday, March 08, 2006

SMS Interop Agreements Made Easier

The GSMA has developed a new hub-based structure to support cross network SMS traffic that will make it much easier to set up inter-working agreements between operators and bring on world wide SMS interoperability.

The first proof of concept trial for SMS delivery via a new open hub approach has been successfully completed by Orange, SFR, Proximus and TIM working with hub providers Belgacom and Telecom Italia Sparkle. Next, the GSMA is to launch a large scale SMS ‘hubbing’ trial with a broad range of operators and hub providers.

As the growth and volumes of SMS continues to take operators by surprise, they have been forced to find ways to shortne the time consuming process of setting up bi-lateral inter-working arrangements between each other.

Currently operators must negotiate agreements to exchange SMS between each other one by one. The GSMA’s new structure means operators will only have to connect once to a hub to reach all the other networks connected to that hub. Moreover, through interconnect arrangements between hubs, they will be able to reach operators connected to other hubs. This combined solution ensures that operators and their customers will benefit from the highest level of service quality (including protection against spam), security, billing and settlement while maintaining the independence of each operator to determine its own pricing structures.

Groundbreaking With MMS

The hubbing approach has already been successfully proven globally for MMS with regional hubs established in Asia, North America and Europe linking over 110 operators delivering commercial MMS services in 58 countries. In addition to text messaging, the GSMA is now extending this approach to other key applications.

“Newer entrants will find this simple one-hub-connection an easy way to manage their SMS inter-working traffic and relationships” said Mr. Roberto Vannini, member of the GSMA’s Executive Committee and head of business innovation and technologies at Telecom Italia (formerly TIM Italy).

The main SMS hub providers on the market are Belgacom, Telecom Italia Sparkle, Syniverse Technologies, CITIC and Mobile 365.


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