You're protected from the pitfalls of grey routes

Joosep Pintsaar

03 Apr 2018 -

5 min read

Joosep Pintsaar

03 Apr 2018


2 min read

“Grey routes” is a loosely used term in the telecommunications industry. Frankly, the industry-specific meaning of grey routes is useless to most of our clients. Brands and businesses send messages to their customers and they expect those messages to be delivered, which is what our SMS API does well.

However, it’s important to understand the premise of grey routes, because they affect SMS service quality, an important topic to us and we hope is important to businesses that use A2P SMS APIs.

The gist of grey routes

Mobile network operators must be able to deliver SMS messages wherever their users go, meaning that an operator must be capable of sending messages anywhere in the world, even when the user is not on their network (the user is roaming.) To facilitate SMS sending and delivery between people (peer-to-peer SMS) when users are roaming, network operators built hubs to move the SMS traffic amongst each other, globally.

Any organization that has a mobile network operator’s license or has been granted access to these hubs can use them to send SMS messages to mobile phones. A grey route is created when someone uses such a network hub to send SMS messages between network operators that don’t have a traffic agreement in place between each other. It’s a loophole that’s exploited, but network operators are working hard to stop grey routes from happening and shut them down when they’re found.

What it means to SMS service quality and your business

Messente’s SMS gateway clients never have to worry about grey routes, because we never enter a relationship with a network hub or partner that uses grey routes –ever. We spot grey route connections quickly, because our insight into the industry tells us when the price to send messages through a particular hub is absurdly low –lower than a direct connection to the network operator with high SMS volume. (Learn more about how you can spot grey route offers here.)

Working with a global SMS service provider that only establishes legitimate connections, businesses are protected from the pitfalls of grey routes –which are:

While network operators also look into the businesses that used SMS service providers who had grey routes, we can’t expect everyone to be an expert in this industry. Things happen, so we advocate for our clients with network operators to keep sender IDs and branding open through our legitimate connections.

What's SMS service quality?

Joosep Pintsaar

Head of carrier relations

Joosep is the person taking care that your messages will be delivered no matter where and when.

We're here to help you connect with your customers. Let's start talking.

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