Analysis and Research Firm Ovum, has estimated that the ever-growing popularity of IP messaging applications may have caused carriers across the world a loss of 17.7 billion Euros this year.
Whatsapp is a cross-platform messaging app, which works across Android, iOS, Blackberry, Symbian and Windows Phone platforms. Users can message each other as well as transfer pictures and other multimedia content for free. Whatsapp uses the existing data plan and hence there are no additional charges for the messages sent. The usage of Whatsapp has caused a steady decline in the usage of traditional messaging such as SMS and MMS, and consequently a decline in revenue generated through SMS/MMS for carriers. Whatsapp happens to be the most widely used messaging application in the world.
Carriers are being left with no option but to be creative and flexible with their offerings. US operators such as AT&T and Verizon have already adopted a data-focused approach towards billing and offer unlimited text messaging (SMS) as part of their usage plans.
Ovum also suggests that carriers need to work closely with social messaging providers like Whatsapp and Facebook in order to balance out the loss of revenue. But it is likely that carriers will follow in the footsteps of US operators instead