Telcos are the incumbents and like other giant monoliths, are very slow to move.
There has obviously been a sharp decrease in SMS usage which contrasts sharply with the increase usage of OTT apps like WhatsApp and Telegram etc. Informa estimates that 41 billion OTT messages will be sent every day, compared with an average of 19.5 billion P2P SMS messages. There are far more P2P SMS users than there are OTT messaging users: There were about 3.5 billion P2P SMS users in 2012, according to Informa, compared with about 586.3 million users of OTT messaging. Each OTT user sent an average of 32.6 OTT messages a day, compared with just five SMS messages per day per P2P SMS user, meaning that OTT-messaging users are sending more than six times as many messages as P2P SMS users do.
In short, less SMS sent = less $
The Telcos fight back
After a shaky start, VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and its close cousin, RCS (Rich Communication Services) is gaining critical mass as carriers rush to fend off over-the-top messaging alternatives.
What is VoLTE? (Voice Over LTE)
Today’s LTE networks use something called packet-switching, as opposed to the circuit-switching used by older, slower networks. Think of circuit-switching as a highway reserved for a single vehicle from start to endpoint, whereas packet-switching’s more like a giant highway shared by all kinds of vehicles. Without getting into the weeds, LTE networks can’t do voice and data simultaneously: LTE conveys data no problem, but your voice calls actually have to run over the old circuit-switched technology.
VoLTE is thus about bringing voice and data together on the same radio stratum. That’s important for several reasons, one of the most important being the ability, belatedly, for LTE users to do voice and data transactions simultaneously. If you’re an LTE user and you’ve ever tried to talk to someone while sending or receiving emails (technically impossible, unless the data portion’s being sent over Wi-Fi), or you finished a lengthy call only to find dozens of emails simultaneously attacking your mailbox, this probably matters to you
What is RCS (Rich Communication Services)
Rich Communications Services (RCS) is the platform that enables the delivery of communication experiences beyond voice and SMS, providing consumers with instant messaging or chat, live video and file sharing – across various devices, on any network. It marks the transition of messaging and voice capabilities from Circuit Switched technology to an all-IP world – and it shares the same IMS investment and leverages the same IMS capabilities as VoLTE and Video calls.
Singtel and Starhub are expected to roll out RCS in 2015.
So peeps, we might have to look up technologies that run over these platforms –and how we can use it effectively.