Telecoms companies gang up against BBM and WhatsApp
Vodafone and other top telecom operators in Europe and Korea would be launching a new instant messaging platform called “Joyn” at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this month, to stem their revenue loss to free messaging applications such as Blackberry Messaging (BBM) and WhatsApp.
Vodafone would be joined by Telefonica, Orange, Telecom Italia, Deutsche Telekom in this grand move to revert the huge loss in their worldwide SMS revenue.
Industry watchers in Europe have described the move as rare but necessary because records show that the telcos are losing out to the likes of BBM and WhatsApp.
UK-based Research Organization, Ovum reported that last year alone, telecoms operators lost a whopping $13.9 billion in SMS revenue to social networks and free web-based applications.
Ovum said in 2010 the telcos lost some $8.2 billion to social networks and free web-based instant messaging applications, indicating that the fate of SMS is getting worse.
According to a blog post from WhatsApp, the company is now getting over one billion messages sent using its platform in a day.
The WhatsApp blog post stated that one billion messages meant 41,666,667 messages an hour, 694,444 messages a minute, and 11,574 messages a second.
It said one billion messages a day is a significant milestone and also a small step closer towards its goal of providing a great mobile messaging system for a global market, regardless of the handset.
WhatsApp has been able to distinguish itself from other messaging applications by being available on iOS, Android, Blackberry and Nokia platforms.
The company recently announced its first Windows Phone app as well.
BlackBerry also reported on its website that BBM has some 50+ million users worldwide, making it one of the largest mobile-centric communities in the industry.
It said over two million new users join the BBM community each month, adding that BBM community is very active, with over 70% of users using it daily and over 100 billion BBM messages sent every month.
Many have been calling for the death of text messaging, as SMS packages have been a huge money maker for telecom operators.
WhatsApp and Blackberry thinks messaging should be free, and companies like Facebook, Apple, and Google are right there with them.
But the launch of “Joyn” by the telcos at MWC (which is slated for February 27 – March 1, 2012), could change the fortunes of WhatsApp and BBM.
By Samuel Dowuona