Messaging apps, VoIP already eating into carrier revenues, report

A new breed of messaging services and mobile VoIP providers like Skype are already eating into carrier revenues in line with a brand new study. Commissioned by mobile infrastructure solutions supplier Mavenir Systems, interviews with thirty one mobile network operators round the world found that one-third of carriers are already seeing voice traffic and SMS revenue decline as result of the increased popularity of third-party VoIP solutions.

For years, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Messenger service has been one in all the highest options customers and enterprise users loved concerning BlackBerry devices. It took for much longer than some expected, however alternative vendors and third-party developers have finally kick off in full force with competing services that offer SMS-like messaging over data networks at an affordable price to the user. Among those mentioned during this study are Apple’s new iMessage service, that permits iPhone, iPad and iPod bit users to speak with alternative iOS users at no cost, and WhatsApp, a third-party cross-platform service that works on iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Symbian smartphones.

Mobile VoIP providers like Skype also are becoming more popular. These third-party solutions provide free voice and video calling between account holders, usually in the middle of huge discounts on international calling. Some solutions even offer unlimited domestic calling to landlines and cell phones at no cost.

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.

“The findings confirm what we have found in discussions with the mobile industry,” Mavenir VP Shubh Agarwal said in a statement. “This is one of the primary reasons the industry is currently moving towards an all-IP converged core network accelerated by the deployment of LTE technology. By allowing users to place high definition voice and video calls, chat, share content, and discover new services as part of a globally connected framework, operators can retain and even grow their share of customer communication spend.”

“The mobile landscape is changing as users embrace messaging of all types that enable them to seamlessly message a multitude of devices,” mobile Squared analyst Gavin Patterson added. ”This study confirms that lucrative messaging revenues are already impacted and operators are assessing ways in which to deliver core-network services within the all-IP environment. Rich Communication Ecosystem (RCE) applications are one example of how mobile operators will overcome the hurdles they face.”

42% of wireless operators say that they're going to combat this new trend by rolling out IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based services to supply things like Voice over LTE and data-facilitated messaging services. “By giving embedded or downloadable clients tied to a user’s phone variety, auto service discoverability, group chat, enhanced calling for video and file sharing as a worldwide service, operators will deliver worth to their subscribers,” Manevir noted in its report.

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