Who Has the Bigger … Yacht?

Giovanni Benini, Director of Product Management - Global SMS – November 11, 2016


Typically, testosterone-driven humans seem to like comparing each other in order to determine who is “the best”. The world’s richest among this group find yachts to be a good battle ground, but also pubescent boys often brag about whose dad has the fastest car (sorry son, as written in this post, I have sold all our cars).

In the SMS world, I see a similar contest going on: there is an epidemic of A2P (Application-to-Person) SMS reports that seem to be coming out like mushrooms after rain. These reports award the “best” A2P SMS aggregator with varying results and methodology (paid or unpaid). One of the recurring questions is…

Who has the most directs?

This relates to direct connections to mobile carriers. The question assumes that more is better, but I’d like to disagree.

A direct connection is an asset for A2P SMS delivery, BUT only if you have a strong relationship with that carrier and lots of messaging traffic. Only then will you get competitive pricing and excellent support.

There is not a single SMS provider that has more than a few countries with strong directs, as all other directs are like collecting used stamps. While it’s nice to have many of them, they are not really useful.

I know many SMS aggregators that have direct connections, but they prefer to send their messaging traffic through other routes.

I’d rather focus on fewer really strong directs and use a trusted mobile messaging partner for a one hop to direct access, preferably where the partner has its sweet spot.

After all, and unless you can really afford it, it is in my view better to have a good friend who has a yacht and lets you use it, rather than worrying about all the baggage like maintenance and insurance that comes with owning that yacht.

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