Years ago the decline of SMS sending is a reality. The fault lies with WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger and other apps that gave us the possibility to communicate without limit of characters, with multimedia content and, above all, without having to pay more than a data rate. It has been useless that operators have lowered their price for SMS or even that they do not charge for most rates.
In fact, according to data from the CNMC, the exchange of messages between individuals (SMS P2P -person to person-) went from more than 2,000 million messages in the third quarter of 2005 to just 200 million in the same quarter of last year 2020 That, obviously, It has had an impact on the income of the operators, which cannot compensate for this loss with SMS A2P (application to person).
Professional use as hope
You probably don’t even remember when was the last time you sent an SMS, but surely nonetheless yes you have received some recently. Why? Because companies and the Public Administration continue to use them, either as verification, as advertising (let’s remember the « Hello, I’m Pablo Casado »), as a means of communicating with their clients or, in the worst case, as a method of fraud.
If we talk about interpersonal communication, the data from the CNMC Household Panel are resounding: 64% of Spaniards send WhatsApp messages several times a day, while just 2% acknowledge sending SMS. In fact, almost 60% of Spaniards never use this service.
As we said, the exchange of messages between individuals (SMS P2P) has been reduced abysmally, but the same does not happen with the traffic related to the A2P courier service. These are the SMS that companies and the Public Administration use to send promotional or informative messages (offers, reminders of medical appointments, parcel deliveries, digital banking operations, etc.).
There the figures are not only better, but they are increasing: in the third quarter of 2020 about 1 billion of this type of messages were registered. Yes we can say that SMS survive thanks to that professional use, but that does not translate into an increase in billing for operators.
Why? Very simple: mass mailing platforms used by companies benefit from special offers from operators for concentrating a large volume of SMS traffic. On average, the income received by mobile operators from sending a professional SMS is 60% less than the income obtained from an SMS sent between subscribers.
For example, in the third quarter of 2005 SMS between customers represented revenues of more than 250 million euros for operators. In the same quarter of last year, they were reduced to 13 million, while the « professional » messages reported about 25 million euros. The sum (about 38 million euros) is very far from the income of 15 years ago.