Mobile Messaging Apps Won’t Top SMS For Years, Says Informa Report

According to a new report published Tuesday by Informa Telecoms & Media – a reputable provider of business intelligence and strategic services to the global telecoms and media markets – mobile messaging apps have a long way to go before replacing SMS as a top revenue generator.

Mobile operators’ SMS revenues may be under pressure from mobile messaging apps – WhatsApp, iMessage, etc. – but Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts that mobile operators will still generate a total of US$722.7 billion in revenues 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,” says Pamela Clark-Dickson, a senior analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media. “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,” she says.

Western Europe will generate the highest amount of SMS revenues globally between 2011 and 2016, totaling $174.1 billion, followed by Asia Pacific Developing, where SMS revenues will total $173.8 billion between 2011 and 2016.