SMS Verification: It Has to Work | TeleSign

Our clients are Global Enterprises who have users in “all four corners” of the world. Deliverability and network reachability of our partners are crucial – We need to reach all end users who need a PIN Code to access their accounts anytime, anywhere. Today, we have coverage to 800+ networks in more than 200 countries. More importantly, our system is set up such that we have at least 4-5 different routes to reach a user wherever she/he is located. This allows us to mitigate the risk associated with a single point of failure (i.e. carrier’s network down). Although redundancy is a good and logical idea to adopt, it is not uncommon to come across vendors who only have one route into a market – a very, very risky proposition!!

In peer-to-peer (P2P) text messaging, there is, most of the time, no real sense of urgency for either party to get a response right then and there. For instance, you are not obliged to respond to a “What’s up?” text message the moment you receive it. In fact, due to various limitations (e.g. network capacity of a provider, the user’s phone is at a dead cell zone) it is not uncommon for one to receive a text message 24hrs after it was sent. If a response is urgently needed, even the most reluctant person will frequently choose to initiate a voice call to the other party.

Authentication service is different from P2P messaging between friends. The service required is mission-critical and time sensitive. When a user is trying to log into his/her account, she/he is expecting to receive the one-time-pin (OTP) that is to be delivered to the phone, right then and there. A PIN code that failed to deliver to end user negatively affects a user’s experience. From security and user experience standpoint, authentication service deployed has to achieve those two goals. It has to work, and work well.

At TeleSign, there are 3 key criteria we look at when working with our vendors to enable us deliver the best quality to our customers:

Work with reputable, large and small operators

We work with reputable operators  to make sure that they get what TeleSign is about, and how important security and reliability are to the core of our business. We work with multiple operators that are strong in different parts of the world, to make sure that we can deliver the best service to our clients irrespective of where their end users are located.

We also work very closely with our partners to make sure they understand the type of business we are in. This is especially important for the SMS part of the business, which has seen increasing government regulations around the world (e.g. India) to reduce marketing spam through text messages. We make sure our operators understand that TeleSign is strictly in the phone authentication business. We do not send unsolicited marketing/spam messages like other telemarketers.

Reachability

Our clients are Global Enterprises who have users in “all four corners” of the world. Deliverability and network reachability of our partners is crucial – We need to reach all end users who need a PIN Code to access their accounts anytime, anywhere. Today, we have coverage to 800+ networks in more than 200 countries. More importantly, our system is set up such that we have at least 4-5 different routes to reach a user wherever she/he is located. This allows us to mitigate the risk associated with a single point of failure (i.e. carrier’s network down). Although redundancy is a good and logical idea to adopt, it is not uncommon to come across vendors who only have one route into a market – a very, very risky proposition!!
Table 1: Country Table summarizes a list of countries, which TeleSign has delivered our services to. It is my personal goal to remember, in due course, exactly where they are located on the world map.

Quality metrics

We also put in place our internal quality monitoring system, to identify and mitigate problems that could be related to vendors, customers, or end users. Terry Somers, our VP Network Operations, has done a phenomenal job in developing TeleSign’s quality practice.  Quality of our services is being monitored vigorously, at all time.

We send SMS messages globally every day to places you might not have even heard of. How many country names do you recognized from this list:

TeleSign: Interesting Countries and Territories We Deliver our Services To

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