BuddeComm Intelligence Report - Messaging Services and OTT Messaging Apps Insights


In 2017 the growth of messaging usage continues unabated as people’s desire to communicate escalates. Driven by the growing uptake of smartphones and mobile broadband services, mobile messaging continues to gain popularity throughout the world. But the scene has changed. The traditional SMS market, which peaked in 2012 and is now gradually shrinking, is being replaced by Over-The-Top (OTT) social messaging and messaging apps. This decline in traditional Peer-to-Peer (P2P) SMS usage is particularly evident in countries and regions where there is high smartphone and mobile broadband penetration.

With consumers now spoilt for choice in the highly competitive consumer messaging sector, the providers are now turning their attention to the enterprise sector. In particular, the Application-to-Peer (A2P) segment one of the new growth areas - particularly for the traditional operators who offer a higher level of reliability and security.

Despite some commentators spelling the death of email in favour of social media and other forms of messaging, there is yet no sign that our email boxes will lie empty anytime soon. In fact, the number of emails being sent worldwide continues to grow. The biggest change is that almost half of all emails are being accessed from a mobile device globally. In some cases, the mobile data used to access emails or social media apps is provided free by the mobile operators in a recent trend known as “zero rating content.

This BuddeComm Intelligence report provides a global overview of the key trends occurring for SMS, OTT messaging, email, Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM), and Unified Communication (UC) sectors, including broad statistics, where available.

Key developments

  • It has become a popular practise for mobile operators to offer service bundles which include free data usage to access mobile apps such as social media, email or OTT messaging services. Known as “zero-rated content”;
  • WhatsApp’s user base has reached around a billion users in 2017;
  • In March 2015, WhatsApp added mobile VoIP (MoIP) to its messaging app.
  • Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and Viber have emerged as the global leaders in 2017.

Companies mentioned in this report

Snapchat; WhatsApp; Viber, Facebook Messenger.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Mobile messaging insights in 2017
    • 2.1 OTT messaging eroded SMS P2P usage
    • 2.2 Application-to-person (A2P) messaging
    • 2.3 Zero-rated mobile content
    • 2.4 Monetizing free mobile instant messaging apps
  • 3. Premium SMS (PSMS)
  • 4. Mobile Voice over IP (MoIP)
    • 4.1 Is MoIP a threat to SMS and voice revenues?
  • 5. Email/mobile email
  • 6. Unified Communications (UC)
    • 6.1 Early days
    • 6.2 UC&C today
  • 7. Big Data and the messaging/UC segment
  • 8. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Global – SMS traffic and revenue – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 2 – Worldwide number of email users – 2009 - 2016
  • Exhibit 1 - A brief history – SMS
  • Exhibit 2 – Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM)
  • Exhibit 3 – Self-destructing photo messaging
  • Exhibit 4 - Definition: Premium SMS

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Licence Information

Focus Report Profile


Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)

Number of pages 10

Status Archived

Last updated 22 Mar 2017
Update History

Analyst: Kylie Wansink

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