London, Feb 22 (ANI): Social messaging applications in smartphones cost mobile network operators 13.9 billion dollars in lost SMS revenue last year, according to a report.
Analysis firm Ovum, which studied global use of popular services like Whatsapp, Blackberry Messenger and Facebook chat, concluded that mobile operators must "work together to face the challenge from major Internet players".
"Operators must remain open to partnering with app developers, sharing end-user data with them and allowing integration with the user's social connections," The BBC quoted the research's author, Neha Dharia, as saying.
"Working closely with handset vendors will also be important; they control some of the most popular social messaging apps, and can also provide preloaded applications," she added.
The report gathered usage statistics from the leading social messaging applications that are generally used on smartphones across the globe.
The study also included apps such as Mxit, a massively popular program used mainly in South Africa.
Social messaging apps make use of a smartphone's Internet connection to send messages rather than the usually far costlier SMS, short message service, system.
According to the report, the study did not factor in the extra income networks received from mobile data costs because of increased Internet usage resulting from social messaging.
Meanwhile, another survey, carried out in June 2011 by YouGov, revealed majority of smartphone users, 81 percent, still considered SMS the key way to send messages on a mobile. (ANI)
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