Consumers across the globe will send 41 billion over-the-top mobile messages per day by the end of 2013, compared to an average of 19.5 billion peer-to-peer SMS, according to a new forecast issued by research firm Informa Telecoms & Media.
BARCELONA, Spain--Two major trends in the wireless industry appear to be converging. On one hand, operators continue to struggle with over-the-top players like Google, Viber, Facebook Messenger and Skype cutting into their voice and messaging revenues. On the other hand, operators have quietly been inking deals with content providers in order to offer cheap or free access to specific services, a practice some have dubbed the toll-free data model. Now, it seems some companies are hoping toll-free data models can put wireless carriers back in the game and give them some leverage against the OTT tide.
Microsoft's Skype unit grew its international traffic by 44 percent in 2012, more than twice the volume growth achieved by all the phone companies in the world combined, according to a report from TeleGeography. The report found that global Skype usage is now equivalent to over one-third of all international phone traffic, Skype's highest level ever.
Microsoft's Skype unit launched a new program to support direct carrier billing for Skype mobile VoIP credits in Russia, and the company said it will bring the service to the United States as well.
The growing threat from over-the-top providers such as Netflix and YouTube has wireless operators on the defensive. Consumers are increasingly watching video content on their smartphones and tablets, rather than their TVs, and many are using services such as Netflix, YouTube and Hulu to access that content.
MetroPCS said its deployment of Rich Communication Services under the GSMA's joyn brand is humming along just fine. The comments are notable considering the technical difficulties Deutsche Telekom is experiencing in Germany that have forced the carrier to indefinitely delay launching joyn there.
The theme of my 2013 "predictions" piece was that this is going to be a year of "disruption" across many elements of the value chain. I'd like to delve a little deeper into a discussion of business models and pricing, where I think we will see both disruption to prevailing structures, and experimentation around new forms of monetization. I see this happening in many sectors of the mobile space: operator pricing, video over mobile, "content everywhere," and applications.
Apple is in discussions with the FCC over how the commission's text-to-911 rules might affect over-the-top messaging applications like Apple's iMessage, according to an FCC filing made on behalf of Apple. Apple wants the FCC to more carefully specify which OTT applications should be included in the agency's rules for text-to-911.
MetroPCS is bringing Rich Communication Services under the GSMA's joyn brand to more of its LTE smartphones. The joyn service is part of an effort by carriers worldwide to counter the rise of over-the-top communications services like WhatsApp, Apple's iMessage and Facebook's Messenger.
The global LTE market will more than double between next year and 2014 as operators roll out LTE networks, according to a new report from research firm Yankee Group.