VoIP and IP messaging: Operator strategies to combat the threat from OTT players (revised and updated)

Published: May 2013

The volume of OTT messaging traffic is set to be twice that of P2P SMS messaging by the end of this year, according to data collected by Informa Telecoms & Media. Daily OTT messaging traffic has already overtaken daily P2P SMS traffic, with an average of 19.1 billion OTT messages sent in 2012, compared with an average of 17.6 billion P2P SMS messages.
Pamela Clark-Dickson, Senior Analyst, Informa Telecoms & Media


VoIP and IP Messaging: Operator Strategies to Combat the Threat from OTT Players is a re-issued report from Informa Telecoms & Media which includes new analysis, commentary and case studies about the OTT and IP communications market.

The report also features Informa’s mobile messaging forecasts and analysis.


    One of the key attractions for consumers with regards to mobile VoIP and IP messaging applications is the misconception that they enable “free” voice and/or messaging among their community of users – of course, mobile users will still need to purchase a smartphone and a mobile data plan in order to use the services.

    That the services are “free”, however, is not the mobile operators’ only problem. Consumers currently use OTT services because they are free, but the risk for mobile operators is that in the future, consumers will use OTT services because they are better than the operators’ own services – eventually rendering the mobile operator invisible.

    During 2012, OTT players saw a significant increase in the amount of messaging traffic their users are generating. In some markets – such as Spain, the Netherlands and South Korea – these services are having a corresponding impact on mobile operators’ messaging revenues.

    Mobile operators are pursuing five key strategies in order to protect their revenues from voice and messaging: do nothing, fight, neutralize, partner or emulate. Only three of these strategies are future-proof, according to Informa’s research.

    This report provides a detailed analysis of the OTT IP communications market, including: an evaluation of the threat that OTT IP communications represents to mobile operators, market enablers and inhibitors; the operators’ strategies for OTT communications; and the outlook for OTT IP-based messaging for operators and OTT providers. The report also features seven case studies on OTT IP or messaging communications providers, including Viber Media and WhatsApp.

    New content in this reissued report comprises: data and analysis on OTT messaging traffic and P2P SMS traffic; commentary on the mobile operator partnership strategies of WhatsApp and Facebook; commentary on SK Telecom’s launch of its Joyn.T service; a case study on Rogers Wireless’ Rogers One Number service; and Informa Telecoms & Media’s mobile messaging forecasts and analysis.

Case studies include:

  • Viber Media
  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook Messenger
  • BlackBerry Messenger
  • Nimbuzz
  • Pinger
  • Palringo
  • Rogers Wireless – NEW!

Countries / Sectors / Companies Covered:


    Voice-over-IP, IP messaging, mobile instant messaging, mobile group messaging

    Mobile operators: Telefonica, T-Mobile, Vodafone, SK Telecom and Rogers Wireless; plus WhatsApp, Viber Media, Facebook, BlackBerry Messenger, Nimbuzz and Palringo

Key issues addressed in this edition:

  • Evaluating and sizing the threat from OTT IP communications
  • Market enablers and inhibitors
  • Operators’ strategies for OTT communications
  • OTT IP-based messaging: outlook for mobile operators and OTT providers

  • This report includes new research analysis:

  • Breaking view: OTT and P2P SMS messaging traffic
  • WhatsApp partnership strategy
  • Facebook partnership strategy
  • SK Telecom Joyn.T
  • Rogers Wireless Rogers One Number case study
  • Updated messaging forecasts
  • Updated messaging forecasts analysis
  • Updated Executive Summary, including new data and analysis

Press release, media coverage and Informa in the news:

Press release:
OTT messaging traffic will be twice the volume of P2P SMS traffic by end-2013

BBC interview with Mark Newman, Chief Research Officer, Operator Strategies, Informa Telecoms & Media:
The volume of OTT messaging traffic is set to be twice that of P2P SMS messaging by the end of the year

BBC interview with Pamela Clark-Dickson, Senior Analyst, Content & Applications, Informa Telecoms & Media:
Chat app messaging overtakes SMS texts

Daily Mail:
The end of the text message? Mobile chat apps overtake SMS for the first time

The Telegraph:
Chat apps overtake texting

The Guardian:
App messaging damages mobile networks’ text revenues

New report format:

    New Report format - designed for sharing - This research is available from our online store either as a hardcopy report or electronic format, featuring a series of PPT files, each designed to provide you with business critical intelligence which is easy to share with your colleagues.

Contributing Analysts

Pamela Clark-Dickson, Senior Analyst, Mobile Content & Applications, Informa Telecoms & Media

Dario Talmesio, Principal Analyst, Europe, Informa Telecoms & Media

Gareth Sims, Head of Forecasting, Informa Telecoms & Media

Pricing Information
VoIP and IP messaging: Revised - paper copy
VoIP and IP messaging: Revised - single user pdf
VoIP and IP messaging: Revised - 2-5 user pdf