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Juniper Research and VOX Solutions collaborated on a study to expose the problem of Artificially Inflated Traffic (AIT) and SMS Trashing in the business messaging sector. The research found that in 2023, AIT made up 18% of all international A2P SMS traffic, costing enterprises, including big names like Elon Musk, over USD 60 million annually. This highlights the urgent need for mobile operators to protect their revenue and customer trust.

The Need for Immediate Action

The research estimates that the global cost of AIT within enterprises reached USD 8.5 billion in 2023, signaling a critical need for immediate action. By 2027, AIT is forecasted to represent 11% of global traffic, with enterprises projected to incur costs amounting to USD 23.4 billion. This trend is expected to have a significant impact on regions such as Central and East Europe, as well as the Far East and China.

AIT and SMS trashing not only creates substantial revenue for fraudsters by artificially increasing SMS traffic volumes but also poses challenges in detection due to the complexity of sources such as bots and AI.

The whitepaper emphasized the dire consequences of unchecked AIT, including the potential collapse of business messaging reliability and a shift to alternative platforms like OTT services or biometric authentication methods. It calls upon industry stakeholders to collaborate in combatting these fraudulent practices to safeguard revenue streams and maintain the integrity of communication channels.

A Multi-Faceted Threat

VOX Solutions CEO, Ehsan Ahmadi, highlighted the critical threat posed by AIT to the integrity of A2P messaging. AIT represents a multifaceted threat to the integrity of A2P messaging by facilitating impersonation and fraud, generating spam and unsolicited messages, manipulating conversations, disseminating misinformation and disinformation, and undermining trust and credibility in digital communication channels. As such, it is imperative for industry stakeholders to implement sophisticated defenses to combat this growing threat effectively. Ahmadi underscored the urgent need for comprehensive defenses to be deployed across the industry to mitigate this threat effectively.

Furthermore, Sam Barker, VP of Telecoms Market Research at Juniper Research, stressed the importance of understanding AIT's scale and advocates for proactive measures to counter these costly attacks, preserving the profitability and trustworthiness of SMS channels.

AIT attacks can disrupt normal operations, damage brand reputation, and lead to potential loss of customers and revenue. Additionally, they undermine the trustworthiness of SMS channels by inundating recipients with spam, phishing scams, and fraudulent messages, thereby diminishing the overall quality of service provided and tarnishing the reputation of legitimate businesses. Advocating for proactive measures to combat AIT attacks demonstrates a commitment to maintaining the integrity of SMS channels, safeguarding trust, credibility, and profitability among recipients.

By advocating for proactive measures to counter AIT attacks, stakeholders can enhance the customer experience, ensure regulatory compliance, and uphold industry reputation. Proactive measures include investing in robust security measures, prioritizing customer experience, ensuring regulatory compliance, and collaborating with stakeholders to develop and implement best practices for combating AIT attacks.

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