The GSMA is a rather expansive organisation very familiar to many working in mobile network operators around the world. What isn’t so familiar are its origins.

Back in 1982, the Groupe Speciale Mobile (GSM) was formed by the Confederation of European Posts and Telecommunications (CEPT) to design a pan-European mobile technology and the GSMA as we know it started out as the GSM MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) Association. How things have evolved!
Now with over 1,000 mobile operators and businesses across the ecosystem and related industries counted amongst its membership, many of the organisations I’ve worked with and for over the years have been members. I remember March 27th to 29th 2012 well as this was my first real immersion into the world of Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS, when I attended the GSMA BARG #79 meeting in Shanghai, sponsored by China Unicom. The ‘Billing, Accounting and Roaming Group’ evolved several years ago into the ‘Wholesale Agreements and Solutions’ (WAS) Group within the GSMA and I’ve just returned from the cosmopolitan city of Istanbul after having attended the GSMA WAS #19 event, kindly hosted by Monty Mobile.

If you are a GSMA member, are in the A2P SMS industry and have anything to do with mobile operators, then these biannual WAS events are the place to be. They provide a stellar opportunity to quite literally meet hundreds of decision makers, and all in one place. This time, 1,000 people from all around the world converged on Istanbul for the event.

I’ve been to many BARG/WAS meetings over the years but this one was different from all the others as for me it started off with a whole day event before the main thing kicked off; I was invited to host moderate and speak at the ‘GSMA Roundtable: Threats & Trends in A2P Business’ which took place on April 15th, hosted by VOX Solutions.
Any of you have known me as ‘MrConnectivity’ over the years will know that I do like the topic of A2P SMS. It’s everywhere, 5.6 billion people have access to it and it’s a channel that has built up a big following, and for many good reasons. I won’t go into all those right now but safe to say if you are a mobile network operator that hasn’t cottoned on to the great opportunities it provided (revenue, client stickiness and much more) then being with me on April 15th at the VOX-sponsored GSMA sessions would have been a great start! Thanks to the GSMA and VOX Solutions for giving me the opportunity to share my knowledge and indeed moderate the event.

These WAS events are important for XConnect and four of us attended, having dozens of meetings with clients, prospects, suppliers and other stakeholders of ours. It’s an event that is well worth the investment and if you are reading this and have the opportunity to go but have never done so, then just go for it!

The next stop on the GSMA WAS roadshow will be WAS #20 in Bali, Indonesia, September 23rd to 26th. VOX Solutions are doing the ultra-heavy lifting for this one and XConnect will be joining many from the industry at the Bali International Convention Centre (BICC). I have known far worse locations for industry conferences but irrespective of where these events take place around the world, they are hard work. But if there is a bit of sun and satay around, no complaints from me on either score!

My time in Istanbul with all the meetings I had with so many different types of companies truly reinforced the fact that no matter your type of organisation, if you are dealing with numbers (mobile in particular) at any stage of your business processes, then it definitely does zero harm having as much authoritative information on them as possible.
And with our supreme Global Number Range (GNR) coverage of 8.5 million number ranges and growing – just one of the solutions we offer – you’ll have access to verify that the numbers you’re dealing with are valid and allocated to help you prevent fraud or avoid costly termination surcharges.
You can check out everything we offer here and if you’d like to talk to us about anything, then just drop us a line at or don’t be a stranger and feel free to contact me directly at !  Catch you all again soon.