SMS is forecast to generate USD 15.3 million per hour for MNOs worldwide (USD 133.8 billion in aggregate), compared to USD 2.6 million per hour from OTT messaging services, mainly in the form of data usage charges, according to Portio Research, which argues that SMS still continues to deliver massive revenues despite the growing popularity of OTT messaging apps. Worldwide SMS revenue has increased every year since the early 1990s and is expected to be above 2010 levels until 2017. MNOs are gaining revenue from increased data usage instead.
Mobile messaging revenues are forecast to grow to USD 230 billion in 2013, compared to USD 218.1 billion in 2012, and to reach USD 236.8 billion in 2014 and USD 239.7 billion in 2015, before decreasing to USD 236.7 billion in 2016 and USD 227.1 billion in 2017. Different regions are expected to peak at different times, starting with North America, peaking in 2014, Europe in 2015, and the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa in 2016.
The drivers maintaining growth in 2011-2015 are the continuing growth of the mobile base, mainly driven by developing economies. The key driver behind the decline from 2015 to 2017 is the shift away from SMS in more mature markets as smartphone penetration increases and more users shift to OTT messaging apps and social networks.
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