Are OTT voice and messaging services a real threat to mobile carriers? Depends how you read the following report from Analysys Mason.
The report (based on data derived from Arbitron Mobile’s passive on-device monitoring app, which monitored more than 1000 smartphone users (‘panellists’) in France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the USA) by Stephen Sale (pictured) and Martin Scott finds that:
- "More than 45% of customers with a smartphone use some form of instant messaging (IM) or over-the-top (OTT) messaging app in addition to (and in some cases instead of) traditional text messaging (SMS) .. In addition, 20% of consumers use a VoIP app, and 20% of those consumers use it more than traditional voice services".
- "The report shows that WhatsApp Messenger is the first large-scale cross-platform messaging app; nearly 20% of the panellists used it during the two-month observation period. However, OTT communication apps have succeeded in replacing operator services in only a small proportion of cases; only 1.7% of the panel used IM/OTT messaging without using SMS, but 97% of panellists used SMS".
- “Skype continues to dominate the VoIP market; 79% of VoIP users on the panel used the service (16% of all panellists), making it the default VoIP provider. The main challengers to Skype are Viber, fring and Google Talk, as used by 5%, 0.8% and 0.6% of panellists respectively .. Alarmingly for operators, some smartphone users are beginning to use VoIP apps as their primary voice service; approximately 20% of VoIP users (or 4% of the panellists) used mobile VoIP more than traditional voice services".
See "Almost half of consumers with smartphones use instant or over-the-top messaging services and one in five use voip apps, reports Analysys Mason" - here.