While many mobile network providers grumble at the money lost by customers using free mobile messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, BlackBerry (News - Alert) Messenger and iMessage, Informa Telecoms & Media says there is still plenty to be made from standard SMS messaging.
In fact, the business intelligence and strategic services provider predicts mobile operators will generate a total of $722.7 billion in revenue from SMS between 2011 and 2016.
“There will not be a uniform decline in mobile operators’ SMS traffic and revenues as a result of the adoption and use of over-the-top messaging services,” said Pamela Clark-Dickson, senior analyst for Mobile Content & Applications at Informa Telecoms & Media (News - Alert). “Factors such as the operators’ pricing strategies, and the penetration of smartphones and mobile broadband in a market will determine how quickly and to what extent substitution occurs. For example, operators offering integrated tariffs that include a balanced proportion of voice, SMS and mobile data, are continuing to see growth in their SMS traffic and less impact on their SMS revenues."
Informa's forecasts for some developed regions and countries does actually suggest slowing growth or even small decline in SMS revenues; however, the company predicts that total global SMS revenues will increase at a compound annual growth rate of three percent over the next five years.
Western Europe is forecasted to make the highest amount of SMS revenue, totalling $174.1 billion between 2011 and 2016, with Asia Pacific Developing following close behind at $173.8 billion over the same period.
Sheer SMS traffic will total 9.4 trillion messages globally by 2016, up from 5.9 trillion in 2011, while SMS's share of global mobile messaging traffic will, however, down from 64.1 percent in 2011 to 42.1 percent in 2016.
Informa's forecast also suggests that by 2016, mobile operators globally will still generate higher total revenue from mobile instant messaging than third-party messaging service providers at $8.7 billion, or 54 percent of total IM service revenues.
Edited by Braden Becker