A new report from Juniper Research forecasts that global mobile messaging traffic will reach 28.2 trillion annually by 2017, which is nearly double the 14.7 trillion messages expected to be sent this year. Mobile messages — in case you wonder — comprise SMS, MMS, IM, Email, RCS/RCS-e and Social Media messages. Instant messaging services will lead the growth, accounting for over a quarter of all traffic annually in five years.
The so called Over-the-Top (OTT) services like eBuddy, iMessage, Nimbuzz and Whatsapp are already having an impact on carriers’ messaging businesses, as smartphone owners find instant messaging a cheaper alternative. Until recently, most smartphone owners would have had contract subscriptions with ample messaging allowances, but with the cost of these devices falling, more and more price-conscious prepaid subscribers will be able to access these services. Many of these services are operated by hardware vendors and Internet brands, while some others are monetized via in-app advertising.
However, revenues from traditional operator services such as SMS and MMS will continue to dwarf those of instant messaging. According to the report co-author Daniel Ashdown, SMS is 30 years old, but it is “still going strong because a text message will reach almost anyone.”
Other key findings from the report include:
- RCS/RCS-e deployments, whether under the Joyn brand or operator’s own brand face a number of challenges despite positive early movement.
- SMS traffic will remain the largest type of messaging traffic.
- Social messaging and email will also add to the momentum towards IP messaging.
And as usual, you can get additional information about the report from Juniper’s website.