SMS is losing ground to WhatsApp, textPlus and other OTT messaging apps

Mobile messaging is rapidly becoming the new battle ground in Europe as over-the-top (OTT) providers develop products that are attracting millions of new users to their slick services, leaving operators floundering to catch up. Traditional SMS text messaging, a cash-cow long overdue a revamp, is rapidly losing ground to upstarts such as WhatsApp, textPlus and others as smartphone users take advantage of these apps' capabilities and lower costs. According to a recent report from market research firm Ovum, the growth of OTT messaging apps will result in mobile operators worldwide losing $54 billion by 2016, more than double the $23 billion Ovum expects them to have lost by the end of this year. The adoption of OTT messaging is increasing, with 90 percent of smartphone users in the Netherlands reportedly using WhatsApp. OTT messaging has forced some European operators to accept their fate, while others are taking the fight to the OTT community. Special report