WhatsApp! Free message apps give telecom firms a run for their money



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Friday 12 October 2012

Last update 12 October 2012 6:28 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

SINGAPORE: Global telecom operators are expected to have lost $ 23 billion in SMS revenues by the end of 2012 as smartphone users shift to free messaging applications, an industry report said yesterday.
Technology research company Ovum forecast the losses would more than double to $ 54 billion by 2016 as the traditional Short Messaging Service (SMS) gives way to Internet-based platforms such as WhatsApp.
This compares with estimated losses of $ 8.7 billion in 2010 and $13.9 billion in 2011.
“Social messaging is becoming more pervasive and operators are coming under increased pressure to drive revenues from the messaging component of their communications business,” said Neha Dharia, consumer telecoms analyst at Ovum.
“Operators need to understand the impact of social messaging apps on consumer behavior, both in terms of changing communication patterns and the impact on SMS revenue, and offer services to suit.”
Ovum cited the increasing popularity of WhatsApp, which allows smartphone owners to exchange messages for free using wireless Internet links, bypassing SMS gateways that charge users per message or for a monthly quota.
“Ovum believes this level of growth will continue as smartphone and mobile broadband penetration increases and expects smaller players such as ‘textPlus’, ‘Pinterest’ and ‘fring’ to cause further disruption in the messaging space,” the report said.
Urging telecom operators to innovate, Ovum said the increase in the number of players offering social messaging services is not a short-term trend but a sign of a “shift in communication patterns.”
Text messaging started as a way to use spare telecoms capacity but became a key cash generator for operators while offering users a cheap way to keep in touch with friends and family without having to spend on phone calls.
Dharia told AFP on Thursday that SMS contributed 49 percent of non-voice revenues for telecom companies globally last year, but is expected to fall to 45 percent this year and to 35 percent by 2016.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Jeddah police have closed all entry points into Makkah to prevent undocumented pilgrims from entering the holy city during this year’s Haj, in a bid to prevent overcrowding that could lead to health and safety problems.Officials have taken ac...
JEDDAH: The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution recently charged three young men in the harassment case at the Jeddah corniche. A number of young men were arrested for harassing two Saudi girls at the corniche a day after Eid Al-Fitr.A vi...
JEDDAH: A total of 232 people injured in Sunday’s Aramco compound fire in Alkhobar have been discharged from hospitals here, the Eastern Province Health Department announced on Tuesday.Fifty-seven are still receiving treatment at four hospitals, with...
RIYADH: The Directorate of Education in Riyadh is keeping a close watch on schools, such as sanctioning health material and monitoring the health of staff and students, to prevent the spread of the MERS coronavirus among students. As a step in this...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has announced new legislation for the Dec. 12 elections, including fines and imprisonment for failure to disclose candidate financing, obstructing procedures or officials, and fraudulent activity.Vi...
JEDDAH: The low turnout of Saudis registering for the municipal elections is likely caused by the poor performance of previous councils, lack of a voting culture, inadequate understanding of the duties of councils, and the timing of the elections wit...

Stay Connected

Facebook