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

ALKHOBAR: Many Saudi citizens travel outside the Kingdom during vacations looking for entertainment for themselves and their families as entertainment facilities in the Kingdom do not meet their aspirations. They have called for setting up entertainm...
TAIF: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal inaugurated state-of-the-art Radf public park in Taif which has an interactive fountain — the biggest of its kind in the Kingdom and spread over 13,000 sq meters. The fountain has colored lighting and a displ...
JEDDAH: The Special Criminal Court has issued a preliminary order in a case related to a Saudi national who fought with militant organizations in Syria. The court, functioning at its summer headquarters in Jeddah, sentenced him to a seven-year jail t...
RI YADH: The Kingdom has decided to increase the financial aid to Palestine by raising its monthly aid to the Palestinian Authority’s budget from $14 million to $20 million. The substantial increase brings Saudi Arabia’s yearly aid for Palestine to $...
JEDDAH: The Saudi Ambassador to Jordan has rejected terror charges against Saudis incarcerated in Iraqi jails and slammed the government of that country for concealing information on the inmates."The file of Saudi prisoners in Iraq has grabbed the at...
JEDDAH: Six female members of the Shoura Council participated in a training program to raise awareness among citizens on the municipal elections in which women will participate. The program was organized by Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women un...
RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has issued an order appointing and promoting 96 members at the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIPP) at various ranks.Sheikh Mohammed bin Fahd Al Abdullah, BIPP president, expresse...
DAMMAM: After the recent increase in verbal and physical harassment of women and girls in the Kingdom, they have turned to martial arts in order to protect themselves. Amani Yassin, a coach at Taekwondo Training Institute, said: “Saudi women are inte...
RIYADH: A youth has been arrested for allegedly killing a Saudi man near the Madinah airport recently. The police apprehended the alleged killer without incident. The suspect, a 24-year-old Saudi, is alleged to have stabbed the victim several times...
RIYADH: A total of 4,326 male and female students started their local and regional summer program for 2015 under the sponsorship of the King Abdul Aziz and his Companions Foundation for the Gifted and Creativity (Mawhiba) throughout the Kingdom on Su...
BURAIDAH: The security patrolling team in Qassim detained a woman for driving a car on the streets of Buraidah.Her case was referred to the higher-ups for necessary action.According to Maj. Badar Al-Sahibani, spokesman Qassim police, the woman is ide...
RIYADH: Recent statistics announced by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, which coincided with consensus surveys in the Kingdom for the year 2014, revealed that there is only one doctor for each 800 people, and one nurse for every 285 peopl...
Indian expats have paid glowing tributes to one of its most beloved presidents and iconic leaders on Tuesday, as condolences poured in from various parts of the Kingdom for A.P.J. Abdul Kalam following his sudden death on Monday.Hemant Kotalwar, char...
RIYADH: The National Center for Assessment in Higher Education (Qiyas) has announced the dates of tests for male and female students for the new academic year.Ibrahim Rasheed, director for public relations and communications, said the center has com...
RIYADH: The Ministries of Health and Education in cooperation with the Kingdom’s universities launched a program dubbed, “Education and Work,” in Riyadh on Tuesday to help Saudi youth find employment in the public and private sectors. A memorandum of...

Stay Connected

Facebook