Carriers such as Telstra, Vodafone and Optus are losing billions as consumers choose social messaging applications to communicate, a new research study has found.Ovum estimates that social messaging has cost carriers more than $13 billion dollars a year in lost revenue. Among the most popular are services like Whatsapp, Blackberry Messenger and Facebook chat.
It concluded that mobile operators must “work together to face the challenge from major internet players”.
Industry experts say operators can offset any losses through effective costing plans by mobile networks.
The BBC said that the report gathered usage statistics from the leading social messaging applications typically used on smartphones across the world.
Social messaging apps make use of a smartphone’s internet connection to send messages rather than the usually far costlier SMS – short message service – system.
The research’s author, Neha Dharia, said operators must look to work closely with the big players in social messaging.
“Operators must remain open to partnering with app developers, sharing end-user data with them and allowing integration with the user’s social connections,” she said.
“Working closely with handset vendors will also be important; they control some of the most popular social messaging apps, and can also provide preloaded applications.”