A recent report on Mobile Messaging futures suggests that SMS traffic across the globe will peak by 2015 and that it’s only downhill from there for SMS. No prizes for guessing that other OTT (Over-the-top) providers like WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber are eating into the SMS revenue pie. Let’s take a look at a few interesting nuggets from the report.
Mobile Messaging revenue will peak in 2015 at $239B (14 lakh crores)
The mobile messaging market was worth $218.1B in 2012 and is expected grow 5.5% this year to $230B. Forecasts say it goes up to $240B in 2015 from wherein the downfall starts. What is interesting to note is when different parts of the world start to see the decline. In North America, the decline sets in as early as 2014, while in Europe it sets in only in 2016. On the other hand, Asia Pacific reveneues are forecast to peak only in 2016.
SMS Traffic peaks and stagnates at 8.3 Trillion by 2015
SMS Traffic grew to 100 billion from 0.5 billion from 1996-1999 and increased to 450 billion over the next 4 years (1999 – 2003) and grew to 1 trillion by 2005 and rose to the 5 trillion mark by 2009. It is forecast to rise to 8.3 trillion in 2015 after which the decline in traffic begins. Smart phone usage increase across the world and the usage of OTTP apps like WhatsApp are being cited as the key reasons for the decline. According the to the report, the key drivers of growth from 2011 till 2015 will be the emerging mobile markets in Asian and Middle Eastern markets.
Some key takeaways:
- Given that 1.9 billion smartphones will be sold in 2013, and that number is bound to increase, usage of OTTPs like Whatsapp and Viber will increase manifold
- Relevant, smart and innovative usage of SMS is necessary for telcos to survive, failing which OTTPs will ride on Telcos’ revenue