Nexmo/Viber deal marks beginning of the end for A2P SMS

Metaratings
05 Aug 2015
00:00
Article

Last week, Nexmo kicked off a collaboration with OTT voice/message provider Viber that essentially allows brands to use Nexmo’s Chat App API to reach customers who use Viber.

The Nexmo API for A2P (application to person) messaging already supports chat apps like LINE and WeChat. Adding Viber to the roster means marketers can use a single API to reach customers on all three OTT services – and whatever other OTT services Nexmo signs on in the future.

And that’s bad news for telcos, says Alan Quayle, founder of telecom apps development initiative TADHack, who says the Nexmo/Viber deal “heralds the turning point in A2P communications that will lead to the decline in A2P SMS traffic.”

In a blog post, Quayle says that telcos are well on their way to becoming “the communications network of last resort” as brands opt for cheaper IP-based, presence-enabled communications platforms, especially as they become increasingly aggregated via global, easy-to-use APIs:

The bulk of telcos will soon see their A2P SMS traffic decline, it's had a relatively short-run as a revenue highlight in the face of steep person to person SMS revenue decline. Some markets like the US will be less impacted, but the trend is there just less pronounced.A global ecosystem based approach is the only way to make it work. We have to work together in an open, collaborative environment. Localization is critical as every country is different, but the technology remains the same. The Telecoms Industry must change to get a share of this opportunity.The telecoms world is moving ever faster, telcos can not afford to waste time on yet more weak-minded marketing jabber (digital-this & transformation-that), action is the only option, else be an ISP.

Quayle’s advice to telcos: stop making the same old excuses and start delivering services with their own apps, but do it via an open global ecosystem instead of closed proprietary systems that end users don't want:

The bulk of telcos will soon see their A2P SMS traffic decline, it's had a relatively short-run as a revenue highlight in the face of steep person to person SMS revenue decline. Some markets like the US will be less impacted, but the trend is there just less pronounced.A global ecosystem based approach is the only way to make it work. We have to work together in an open, collaborative environment. Localization is critical as every country is different, but the technology remains the same. The Telecoms Industry must change to get a share of this opportunity.The telecoms world is moving ever faster, telcos can not afford to waste time on yet more weak-minded marketing jabber (digital-this & transformation-that), action is the only option, else be an ISP.

Quayle insists that an innovation incubator is the “only option”, and suggests telcos take a good look at Dialog Axiata’s Ideamart and copy that example.

Either way, Quayle says, it’s time for telcos to put up or shut up:

The bulk of telcos will soon see their A2P SMS traffic decline, it's had a relatively short-run as a revenue highlight in the face of steep person to person SMS revenue decline. Some markets like the US will be less impacted, but the trend is there just less pronounced.A global ecosystem based approach is the only way to make it work. We have to work together in an open, collaborative environment. Localization is critical as every country is different, but the technology remains the same. The Telecoms Industry must change to get a share of this opportunity.The telecoms world is moving ever faster, telcos can not afford to waste time on yet more weak-minded marketing jabber (digital-this & transformation-that), action is the only option, else be an ISP.

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