According to Neha Dharia, consumer analyst at Ovum, social messaging will continue its rise in 2013. First, she believes some content providers will partner more with OTT players. “The period 2013–15 will be crucial in terms of the relationship between telcos and OTT players in the communication space,” she says. “Facebook has a long history of working with operators, and its new partnership with 18 global operators will allow free or discounted data access to the social network’s messaging platform. Such operator partnerships help OTT players to broaden their reach, while the operators benefit from the sale of subscription plans.” In addition, mobile broadband revenues will outpace SMS revenues starting next year. Notes Dharia, “After 2013, mobile broadband revenues will form the bulk of operators’ non-voice revenues, contributing 43 percent of revenues in 2014.” By 2015, SMS revenues will begin to plateau, and Ovum forecasts social-messaging "cannibalization" of SMS revenues will grow from $32.6 billion this year to more than $86 billion in 2020.

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