Telecom Lead U.K: Mobile messaging traffic will nearly double over the next five years to reach 28.2 trillion annually by 2017 from approximately 14.7 trillion messages in 2012, says Juniper Research.
Mobile messages comprise SMS, MMS, IM, Email, RCS/RCS-e and Social Media messages.
SMS traffic will remain the largest type of messaging traffic as mobile subscribers continue to embrace its ubiquity, reach and reliability. Social messaging and email will also add to the momentum towards IP messaging.
Growth of mobile messaging will be driven by the use of instant messaging services which will comprise over a quarter of all traffic annually in five years’ time, the research said.
The falling price of smartphones will boost mobile messaging as more and more prepaid subscribers get access to cheaper over-the-top (OTT) messaging services from providers like eBuddy, iMessage, Nimbuzz and Whatsapp. These services have already had an impact on mobile network operators’ messaging businesses, according to Juniper Research.
Despite the growth of OTT services traditional operator services like SMS and MMS will continue to dwarf those of instant messaging. Many IM services are operated by hardware vendors and Internet brands driving consumers to their primary products, while those that are monetized directly are reliant on in-app advertising.
Daniel Ashdown, report co-author says, “SMS is 30 years old; but it is still going strong because a text message will reach almost anyone.”
IM, on the other hand, is challenged by fragmentation between communities. Some OTT players have overcome this problem through NUVOs (Network Unaffiliated Virtual Operators), who provide their users with a real phone number, such as Pinger and textPlus having been successful in the North American markets.
To survive in the market, IM providers need to find a sustainable business model, says Juniper Research.