Three issues mobile network operators must face to reverse the slide of SMS revenue

It’s no secret that the exponential rise of OTT messaging is continuing to challenge the revenues mobile operators can make out of traditional peer to peer (P2P) SMS messaging. In the UK, last year P2P messaging saw further decline as the impact of OTT messaging service continues to be felt.

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We believe “Enterprise Messaging” – or Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging is a key way in which operators can respond to this long-term negative outlook for SMS.

In my discussions with network operators, three key issues repeatedly emerge:

  1. Mobile spam has had a negative impact on trust in SMS marketing: whilst SMS continues to enjoy extremely high open-rates, many users report strongly negative sentiment to unsolicited messages. If operators can clean this up for them in much the same way spam filters do for email, the customer experience will improve.
  2. Mobile SMS marketing and application messaging is low quality: in being treated as ‘just another channel’, many mobile marketing efforts focused on SMS have either not given enough or not simplified the experience sufficiently for the end user. Being asked to submit details via SMS is too much to ask, but being asked to reply ‘OK’ to take up a deal – much better. The quality of our efforts here must be improved.
  3. Operators lack a complete A2P / Enterprise Messaging strategy: just as efforts were consistently and coherently made to drive P2P revenues prior to the rise of OTT services, A2P requires dedicated and focused strategy to capitalize on a $60bn global opportunity.

We’re hosting a webinar to discuss these topics further on 9th October at 4pm BST with Informa Telecoms & Media, and will recommend strategies which operators can adopt to monetize the channel. If you’d like to join that discussion, please register here. Else, please do let me know what you think in the comments.

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