Although there is no indication anywhere in the world with regards to the impact OTT messaging services have on P2P SMS growth, the threat is very real and the same sentiment was espoused by executives at Telco 2.0 summit. Being the custodians of SMS medium, operators have a critical role to transform SMS into a valuable A2P communication medium to deal with the possibility of OTT encroaching on P2P SMS space. Mobile operators have to innovate with new business models with services such as Ad Funded Advertising models, local Information & search services, Directory services, Alerts & Content etc. The growth in SMS services would come from communication between Applications and Individual users where the possibility of it being dented by OTT applications doesn’t seem like a possibility.
Therefore there is a need for operators to expand the scope of SMS and transforming it into a tool for organizations to communicate and interact with mobile subscribers. On OTT front, applications have be designed with user experience in mind to ensure it matches the simplicity of SMS in order to compete with P2P SMS pace in any meaningful way. With competition intensifying to capture consumer communication space, it would be interesting to see how use of SMS would evolve in near future and what role mobile operator would play in it.