Telecom operators could lose over $3bn (£2.5bn) in revenue globally over the next five years as businesses turn to internet-based messaging apps like Whatsapp.
According to a new study by telecoms research firm Juniper, messaging services like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Google Business Messages, are overtaking traditional text messaging, also known as short messaging service (SMS), in the office.
Unlike texting, internet-based messaging doesn’t require a phone number and offers end-to-end encryption for better security.
Juniper’s study predicts traffic from businesses will reach 375bn online messages in 2028, up from 100bn in 2023.
This surge is expected to be fuelled by a decline in the quality of SMS, thanks to increasing fraud and rising prices.
“For telecom operators, the ship has largely sailed for SMS,” said Kester Mann, telecoms analyst at CCS Insight.
“Other than some use cases in enterprise, this is now a market dominated by online applications such as Whatsapp.”
“We are now seeing brands like Whatsapp, which have a traditional consumer focus, being used more widely in enterprise,” he explained.
Whatsapp, traditionally a consumer-focused platform, is increasingly being used in workplace settings.
It ranks as the third-most used collaboration app in the workplace, trailing only Microsoft Teams and Zoom, according to research from CCS Insight in 2022.