Rating: OTT services still not much of a threat
Apparently, the industry has recently been hit with a number of reports that SMS/text is on the demise. That would be stories like ours – ‘Smartphones’ unified mailbox are helping to kill SMS says Strand‘, then. Well, Acision says its recent (2012) research on consumer messaging habits, shows that 93 per cent of smartphone owners communicate via SMS, despite having access to Instant Messaging (IM) and over-the-top (OTT) services. The company actually says that, “The over-the-top (OTT) messaging services market is highly fragmented, and so far we have not seen one service establish itself as a main challenger to SMS.” Hence,”Predictions of the ‘death of SMS’ have been unduly presumptuous, as SMS continues to be a large part of operator’s revenues worldwide,” Acision says.Tom Veldman, a senior proposition manager with Acision, comments,”Indeed, the ubiquitous nature of SMS means it offers a reach of approximately five billion people globally across any brand, network and device type, even without 3G.”
“Until OTT messaging services can replicate this universal reach, it is unlikely that they will make a noticeable dent to the SMS market,” he added.
His company predicts that in future SMS will even serve as the backbone for many of these (OTT) services, allowing interoperability across platforms, devices and networks.
As more utilisation cases for SMS emerge – particularly in enterprise and m-health – SMS will continue to remain powerful and profitable as a messaging medium in the near future.
The company’s Portio Research’s new ‘Portio Messaging Futures’ report here, also found that MMS will continue to be profitable in the face of email and instant messaging.
Indeed MMS is expected to deliverover $35 billion per year for operators.
“While it is likely we will see some users turning to social media and email for rich media content and images, our research found that among young people in particular, MMS continues to be popular with over half of global users between 18-34 sending picture messages,” Veldman explained.
Lastly, Acision’s research found that 70 per cent of UK mobile users would likely send more MMS messages if costs were lower – thereby demonstrating the demand for the service.