Based on its own consumer research and expertise in the mobile industry, Acision reveals why operators are presented with a major opportunity to enrich the mobile messaging experience and enhance applications and services in the ‘smart’ device world. As we move into a new era of communication and connectivity, where ever-richer IP-based services are now prolific, operators are in a unique position to set themselves apart from other messaging providers. By enabling seamless messaging across all networks (2G, 3G, 4G/LTE), devices, social networks and communities, operators can provide an unmatched user experience to boost loyalty, retention and revenue.
Marco Wanders, EVP Product Division at Acision, commented: “Today, operators’ most significant messaging service, SMS, continues to prove popular and generates huge amounts of revenue. At the same time, a new breed of messaging services are taking the world by storm. These are rich, IP- based services with an enriched user experience, pioneered by Over-The-Top (OTT) messaging. Their market uptake has been augmented by user perception that these services are free and this has put increased pressure on operators’ messaging revenue as users opt for ‘free’ solutions when online over other methods of communication.
“To combat these pressures, operators need to act now while the opportunity is ripe, by providing enriched messaging services which resonate with the user. As experienced service providers, with a solid customer base, reputation of trust and quality, as well as insight into user behaviour, they are in a unique position to leverage existing assets while integrating new messaging services into their offering, like those defined under the GSMA’s Rich Communication Suite (RCS) initiative – providing an optimum user experience with ubiquitous availability regardless of handset, network or location.”
To reinforce the significance of the operator opportunity, Acision’s own messaging research indicates that there is a clear appetite for a rich, ubiquitous messaging service provided from operators. Questioning 1250 Smartphone users about their messaging requirements (from the UK and US), respondents were asked about the attractiveness of a new operator-based service that provided SMS/MMS/IM/group chat and file/video sharing that reaches all mobile users. Over half of Smartphone users questioned (52%) stated they would use such a service, with just 5% stating they would not use it at all. Even in the younger age bracket of 18-34 years, where OTT apps are prevalent – 60% of Smartphone owners stated they were highly interested in such a service from their mobile operator.
When asked what this messaging service should look like, top requirements were related to service characteristics rather than features. Price, already identified as the main driver to OTT service uptake, was also the number one requirement for adoption of a new rich messaging service, including lower price compared to the existing service (63%) and service included in package (57%). The second most important requirements all relate to Quality of Service, and corresponded to strengths of SMS including reliability (50%), instant delivery (45%) and ability to reach everyone (42%). Finally, there was also a clear need for enhanced messaging features including: support for multiple devices (35%); content sharing (32%); ‘is-typing’ indication (24%); conversational view (24%); group chat (18%) and status sharing (14%). For further insight or to download our report on “Seizing the Opportunity in Mobile Messaging”, please click here.
Wanders continued: “Our research clearly demonstrates that key user requirements are twofold. A need for universal reach with the uncompromised Quality of Service they expect from their operator, as well as the rich features, such as file share and group chat. With this in mind, many operators are well positioned to carve out a clear role in the new mobile messaging ecosystem, as they compete with internet players to serve user demand. To remain the messaging provider of choice, operators can provide a one-stop-shop, which offers the rich features of IP messaging, combined with the reliability and ubiquity that consumers have grown to appreciate in SMS. In particular, the reach of SMS is an extremely powerful enhancement that operators can exclusively offer as part of IP messaging services, setting them apart from other players. Acision is completely committed to helping operators make IP messaging services a global success by leveraging our unique expertise and market-leading technology in messaging.”