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Drawbacks of Using SMS Grey Routes

SMS Grey Routes

Grey Routes

A grey route is a method for sending telecommunications traffic that is not authorized by the MNO. Usually, this involves sending international messages at cheaper rates by disguising them as local or person-to-person messages.

In some cases, grey routes may involve routing practices that are legal in the sender’s country but prohibited in the recipient’s country. This highlights the importance for MNOs to think through their firewalls and understand the legal and business implications involved. Only then can they maintain compliance and integrity in their operations.

Drawbacks of using SMS grey routes

Using grey routes might seem cheaper upfront, but they pose severe drawbacks and risks that could cost more over time.

Some of these drawbacks include:

1. Non-compliance with data protection laws

Using grey routes may mean managing customer data in countries with less strict privacy regulations, which could result in significant fines.

2. Legal Concerns

Grey routes might not follow communication laws in your target country, putting you at risk of legal consequences and penalties.

3. Reduced Message Delivery Reliability

Messages sent through grey routes frequently experience lower delivery rates, increasing the risk that your message won’t reach its intended receiver.

4. Increased Service Disruptions

Grey routes are less dependable and may face service failures, leading to potential message loss.

5. Limited Features

Grey routes generally provide fewer features than legitimate routes, like personalized sender IDs or scheduling options.

6. Insufficient Reporting

Grey routes frequently need comprehensive delivery reports, making it easier to evaluate the effectiveness of your messaging campaigns.


MNOs can combat grey routes using SMS firewalls with advanced filters to detect suspicious traffic patterns and sender information. Partnering with trusted SMS aggregators for their expertise and collaborating with the industry to share intel further strengthens their defences. This multi-layered approach safeguards MNO revenue, preserves network integrity, and ensures a consistent SMS experience for its customers.

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