OTT Revolution

Jan 21, 2013 (LBO) – Asian mobile operators are likely to see sharp falls in short message service (SMS) revenues as subscribers shift to services like WhatsApp which allow unlimited texting, an economic research consultancy has said. In December 2012, WhatsApp had processed 7 billion inbound messages and 11 billion outbound messages worldwide on December 31. In August 2012 WhatsApp had said it processed 10 billion messages, up 1,000 percent from a year earlier.

“We do not see the growth momentum of WhatsApp and similar services such as ChatOn, KakaoTalk and LINE tapering any time soon given that smartphone ownership is still on the rise, particularly in emerging markets as more low-cost devices are being launched,” BMI said.

“While SMS over IP services could help to shift customers away from basic voice and SMS plans to more expensive mobile data subscriptions, meaning mobile operators should see a boost to their revenues, relying purely on mobile data subscription revenue is a poor means of monetisation for operators in the long term.”

“This is especially when operators have to heavily invest in their networks to cope with the data traffic.”

“As a testament of SMS’s rapidly declining popularity in developed countr