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SMS and Voice Calls Feeling the Pinch, but Mobile Carriers Fight Back: ABI Research

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January 10, 2013

SMS and Voice Calls Feeling the Pinch, but Mobile Carriers Fight Back: ABI Research

By Shankar Pandiath, TMCnet Contributor

The “Mobile Data Traffic & Usage” Market Data provides an in-depth resource of traffic and end-user related metrics at the global, regional and mobile carrier level.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s (News - Alert) Mobile Traffic Database.

According to statistics, Western Europe’s mobile subscribers racked up over 3K Exabytes in data traffic by the end of 2012. This was over 39 percent, compared to statistics of the same period in 2011. While 3G data usage contributed close to 64 percent of the total, 4G is still coming to terms with its place in the growing market.

“Over 50 percent of Western Europe has a 3G data plan and they are making full use of it,” commented Marina Lu, research associate at ABI Research.

While mobile data usage is quickly gathering pace, text messaging was down between 0.5 and 7.8 percent for those countries quarter-on-quarter. ABI Research’s Mobile ARPU Market Data has further shown that the monthly average revenue for Western Europe has declined in Q3 2012, mainly because of the economic climate.

However, there are also structural shifts in mobile end-user behavior.

This has also led to losses in revenue of telecom operators as they get a percentage of the revenue from data services, of which text messaging is a large part.

SMS has become a way of life as most professionals need to stay in touch with industry peers, and it is generally over messages.

Operators like Orange (News - Alert) will be launching a Rich Content Service called “Joyn” in early 2013. The program is intended to help operators go beyond outdated circuit-switched voice and SMS to embrace IP-based instant messaging, live video sharing, file transfer and SNS integration.

Orange has also rolled out a click-to-call function in collaboration with Facebook (News - Alert), called “Party Call,” which will be available from the first quarter of 2013. This will allow users to call friends from within Facebook.

Orange also plans to launch a VoIP and IP Messaging app called LibOn.

“If you can’t beat them, then ‘Joyn’ them,” said Jake Saunders, company VP of Forecasting. “Excuse the pun, but carriers do need to make sure they stay relevant to their customers in an OTT world.”

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Edited by Braden Becker

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