A lot has been said about the huge influx of messaging and VoIP apps and its impact on carriers. While almost everyone expected these apps to eat into carriers’ revenue, no mobile operator admitted this.
The study, which was carried out on behalf of Mavenir by mobile(SQUARED), found that a third of operators believe operator traffic from messaging, voice and video calling will decline between 11% and 20% over the next 5-10 years. Another 20% of operators expect even steeper declines in the 31% to 40% range.
42% of wireless operators say that they will combat this new trend by rolling out IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based services to offer things like Voice over LTE and data-facilitated messaging services. “By offering embedded or downloadable clients tied to a user’s phone number, auto service discoverability, group chat, enhanced calling for video and file sharing as a global service, operators can deliver value to their subscribers”
The trend, started by RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger, was followed by WhatsApp, Kik Messenger and a number of other third party apps. Subsequently phone manufacturers including Apple jumped into this space. What they had was the capability to deeply integrate their messaging solution into the OS, which is exactly what Apple did with iMessage. If that was not enough, Facebook with more than 800 million users surprised everyone by releasing a standalone app called Facebook Messenger for iPhone recently.