Mobile networks feel pinch as free messaging apps eat into SMS, MMS revenue

The rise in free messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, ebuddy and other mobile-based apps mostly fuelled by the smartphone revolution has led to a drop in SMS and MMS messages sent.

The phone-based text and multimedia messaging that existed earlier has also been largely consumed by the social media craze, with many people preferring to communicate via social media with social networks adding innovation to messaging.

Some of the reasons that have seen a drop in SMS texting are the limitations existing via the medium. Many networks will set the maximum letters of a normal SMS at 160, with any extra letters attracting extra charges.

The apps on the hand allow other features, including sending of pictures, calligraphy fonts adding links to name a few. Even more reason to use the free apps is that they attract no charge as their name suggests, and have no limitation of words are where limitations exist they are much higher.

The SMS and MMS services are also dying away as they tend to restrict themselves to the handset.

Much worse is that in most devices it requires a user to logout of the web to read the SMS or MMS. Already a number of companies have eliminated messaging charges with free messages being used as an incentive to use various tariffs.

Where charges still exist, the SMS service is being sold in bundles to attract people to continue use the facility.

In a recent report by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), the telecoms regulator noted that multimedia messages had failed to pick up, with each user estimated to have only sent 0.02MMS per month. Some of the reasons behind this stunted growth are the existing high cost as well as the invasion of social media and apps allowing users to store images on the cloud.

Standard texting SMS remains high locally, though use fell from 11.7 messages per person per month in the first half of 2012 to 11.1 percent in the second half.

Globally, statistics show that standard texting is still popular, although is the service is receiving a beating by Internet-based messaging, especially where feature phones usage is decreasing. In the first half of 2012. For example, Americans are said to have sent 2.6 percent less SMS compared to 2011, with Ovum, a mobile communications research firm, estimating that Internet-based messaging will have eaten up $23 billion in revenue by the end of this year from text messaging globally.

However, some analysts argue that SMS, unlike multimedia message, are here to stay especially with the growth of mobile advertising, machine to machine applications that use SMS as a tool for sending telemetry although their uses are to come under significant risk as more and more people start using the Internet and accessing it via smartphones.


Posted in: Mobile

Latest headlines

Latest by Category

Tweets about "humanipo"