Huge consumer demand paves way for carriers to offer consolidated richer messaging services
The vast majority of Singaporean smartphone owners are currently using multiple messaging services, but disparate messaging and over the top (OTT) systems would be better if replaced by a single unified system, users have stated.
New research shows that 95% of smartphone users in Singapore today utilise various messaging services, including SMS, MMS and IM OTT applications. Most of those users (91%) stated they use multiple messaging services at least once each day.
However, this huge adoption of new IM and OTT messaging services is a clear indication that consumers not only crave richer messaging solutions to fulfil all their messaging needs, but also demonstrates again the fragmentation in the messaging market today, stated provider of the research, global mobile messaging provider Acision.
When presented with information about the GSMA's Rich Communication Service (RCS), named joyn, which is being rolled out by carriers globally, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed (85%) stated a strong interest in a single, unified messaging service, if packaged at the right price.
This positive response to joyn represents an opportunity for carriers to quickly deliver a ubiquitous, richer messaging experience that combines SMS, MMS, IM, social messaging, group chat, media file and video sharing, on a single platform.
Altogether, 67% of Singaporeans questioned state a dependency on IM OTT services today, as well as 69% saying they still need SMS, while a hefty 97% said they still use and rely on SMS as a messaging service.
The top three reasons Singaporeans use OTT messaging services over SMS are: the ability send a message to more than one person or a group (a rich messaging feature) at 54%; cost (perception these services are free) at 54%; and the ability to share files, images and videos (a rich messaging feature) at 51%. Reliability (40%) and reach (32%) are the two main reasons that put Singaporeans' surveyed off using OTT messaging services at certain times.
While the top three reasons Singaporeans would use SMS instead of an OTT messaging service are: delivery of important messages at 48%; reliability at 46%; and delivery of business or work related messages at 41%. Not being able to share files, images, and video (43%) and cost (40%), are the two main reasons that put Singaporeans' surveyed off using SMS at certain times.
Commenting on the research findings, Michael Frausing, senior vice president and general manager at Acision Asia Pacific, stated: 'The messaging habits of these smartphone users combined with their interest in joyn highlights a distinct opportunity for operators throughout the region. The chance to fast track the deployment of a seamless rich messaging experience that works globally across all messaging communities, devices and networks is truly compelling for their customers.
'Today there is no single messaging service which does this. Combine this rich operator led messaging service with the analytics of user data and intelligence drawn from their networks, and operators can provide additional value to their subscribers underpinned by their own messaging platform to drive greater service monetisation and incremental revenue,' concluded Frausing.
Frausing continued: 'While OTT messaging service usage is today meeting usage levels of SMS, particularly in the Singaporean market, SMS is still regarded as a reliable service by consumers when it comes to making sure critical messages are securely delivered. This uptake in multiple consumer messaging platforms through various devices is a global phenomenon, which is not only captured in our research but across other analyst and industry data sources.'
He concluded: 'Tech-savvy consumers now want something extra, which can only be achieved by using multiple services concurrently. With these new trends rapidly emerging in the market, the technology is ready now for operators to launch a single consolidated messaging platform today. A service that delivers a seamless messaging experience for users and that allows them to take back control of this messaging revolution.'
Researchers at Informa Telecoms and Media forecast that global mobile messaging revenues could grow to $195.9 billion by 2016, with messaging traffic from these new services likely to double over the next three years.