Juniper Research estimates that mobile operators will lose US$2.5 billion to over the top (OTT) business messaging providers such as Messenger, WeChat and WhatsApp in 2023, up 20% over 2022.
Promotional messages will account for 30% of this revenue loss in 2023, with enterprises embracing up-selling and cross-selling capabilities through rich media marketing campaigns.
OTT business messaging involves enterprises using messaging applications to interact with consumers.
The A2P Messaging market report found that the total number of SMS business messages sent will reach 1.7 trillion in 2023; growing from 1.6 trillion in 2022, as enterprises capitalise on the channel’s impressive open rates and unrivalled subscriber reach.
It identified that the use of SMS will remain particularly strong in the retail sector, with operator-led messaging channels in multi-factor authentication increasing in tandem with the growth of eCommerce.
How to compete against OTT apps
Despite the popularity of third-party OTT applications, the report found that the total number of operator-led RCS (rich communication services) business messages sent will also increase, from 161 billion in 2022 to 219 billion in 2023.
It urges network operators to move away from the turbulent monetisation models used for SMS, as fluctuations in RCS pricing will limit enterprise adoption of operator-led rich media messaging.
The study found that volatile RCS pricing will encourage the establishment of grey routes, with lucrative business messages concealed and transmitted within cheaper interpersonal channels.
Research author Scarlett Woodford says to support the growth of RCS business messaging, operators must ensure that pricing remains profitable without dramatic increases.
“Operators must absorb the initial cost of rich media messaging, using digital advertising and sponsorships to secure a return on investment.”Scarlett Woodford