Russian mobile operators lost about 20 billion rubles in annual revenue due to the popularity of instant messengers

    According to a study by J'son & Partners Consulting , last year, Russian mobile operators lost 15-20 billion rubles due to increased user demand for mobile Internet messengers and VoIP services. This is about 2% of operator revenue.

    Most of all, demand has increased for Skype services . It is used by 70% of users surveyed. Services of Mail.ru Group ( Mail.ru Agent , Odnoklassniki , ICQ and VKontakte ), WhatsApp , as well as QIP , Facebook and Viber are slightly less popular.. According to Ericsson for 2014, the penetration of mobile instant messengers in Russia is 78%.

    "The situation is changing rapidly, for example, WhatsApp and Viber are already competing closely with Skype in popularity, and in large cities they are likely to have overtaken," Vitaly Solonin, head of wireless technology at J'son & Partners Consulting , told CNews.

    “The growing activity of imposed services in the world and in Russia negatively affects the income of mobile operators from traditional services (voice and SMS),” J&P said.

    Overlaid Services ( OTT - Over The Top Services) are services provided by third-party companies based on carrier data networks.

    According to J&P, last year not a single mobile operator allowed itself to block any OTT service. Although this would be the most logical way to deal with them. Only 5% of the world's mobile operators thought about developing their own instant messengers. In 2013, their share was 43%.

    "The transition to a partnership model for providing a wide variety of OTT services is the mainstream of the industry’s development for the next few years," J&P said.

    “More than half of the operators are already ready for partnerships, however, many operators find it difficult to choose specific models and forms of interaction with OTT. The main models of interaction between mobile operators and OTT-providers of communication services come down to the release of a co-branded SIM card and special tariff plans with various bonuses for subscribers. More promising partnership models lie in the use of open platforms that allow OTT providers to integrate operator IT systems and participate in revenue sharing, ”the experts added.

    According to Juniper Research , the total losses of mobile operators from OTT services in the world last year amounted to about $ 14 billion. And according to Ovum, the total lost revenue of mobile and fixed-line operators from 2012 to 2020 alone from VoIP-services will reach $ 479 billion or 6.9% of the global voice services market.

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