Acision launches MAVAM Brazil, which shows continued SMS/MMS revenue growth despite 98% of Smartphone users stating they also use Instant Messaging services

Acision launches MAVAM Brazil, which shows continued SMS/MMS revenue growth despite 98% of Smartphone users stating they also use Instant Messaging services

  • Q2 2013 Brazilian Mobile VAS sales increased by 25.5% to R$ 3.57 billion compared with same period in 2012.
  • Brazilian SMS and MMS revenues reach R$ 1.18 billion in Q2 2013 (10.9% growth on 2012 and 33.2% of VAS revenue today) with 92% of those surveyed using SMS.
  • Mobile internet VAS sales reached R$ 2.08 billion in Q2, 34.75% more than Q2 2012.
  • According to the research, 98% of Brazilian smartphone users stated they use at least one over-the-top (OTT) chat or Instant Messaging (IM) Service
  • Operators can carve out new services and add-ons, which combine all consumer requirements, while improving user satisfaction, stickiness and revenue

Acision, the global leader in mobile messaging, today launched the results of its research report, MAVAM Brazil 2013 (Acision Monitor of Mobile Value Added Services (VAS) – eleventh edition), which analyses the evolution and usage trends of VAS in Brazil.  This is the second of three reports looking at the VAS trends across Latin America, with particular focus on Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

The research revealed a number of key trends within the Brazilian market that have impacted operator revenues and highlighted areas of opportunity.  Operators have seen positive growth in VAS revenues generating over R$3.57 billion (USD $1.72billion) during the second quarter (Q2), 2013 – representing 25% of mobile operator service revenue and an increase of 25.5% on the same period last year. The biggest growth in VAS revenues came from Mobile Internet which accounted for 58% of VAS sales. However, more significantly, Brazil has seen double digit growth in SMS usage and revenues despite OTT Chat and IM services now being popular choices for communicating.  Both SMS and MMS revenues grew by over 10.9% compared to Q2 2012, accounting for over 33.2% VAS revenue equivalent to R$ 1.18 billion (USD $0.57 billion).

The amount of people using SMS in Brazil has remained relatively constant and stable at around 90% since 2010.  Further analysis of the MAVAM data found that despite the rapid growth in Smartphone ownership in Brazil, which provides access to a variety of OTT messaging applications, the proportion of people using SMS is higher among those who own smartphones (95%) than among those with feature phones (88%).

According to Fatima Raimondi, Acision’s Senior Vice President and General Manager for Latin America, “The SMS market in Brazil continues to grow in both the number of messages sent and revenue generated partly as a result of unlimited pricing plans. We continue to see operators investing in new messaging services to take advantage of this growth across all market segments.”

“The robust nature of SMS in Brazil is highlighted within the MAVAM report.  When asked how they would feel if operators eventually eliminated SMS services, 68% of those surveyed considered that the lack of an SMS service would represent a significant nuisance,” stated Ms Raimondi.

The Brazilian market is now dynamic with respect to the growth of 3G network coverage, overall infrastructure, service quality improvement, packages and price plan competition including voice, data and SMS services for prepaid and postpaid users.  The combination of this has seen a rise in Smartphones usage with more and more Brazilian consumers accessing the internet through their mobile devices. Mobile Internet represented R$2.06 billion (USD $0.99 billion) in VAS revenue during the second quarter of 2013, a 34.75% increase on same period last year.  As Smartphone ownership is on the rise, this has boosted internet access via the device, with 90% accessing the Internet over the last three months – 86% of those accessing the Internet daily and 59% using it several times a day. 

When it comes to OTT messaging and chat applications, 98% of Smartphone users in MAVAM's research use at least one instant messaging application with the most frequently used applications being Facebook Messenger (69%), followed by WhatsApp (35%) and Twitter at 27%.

“What these results highlight is that consumers are using these applications to fulfil different communication needs and expressing their preference of interaction through the types of service these tools provide. Whether those services are for social media, IM or micro-blogging, what is clear is that the different messaging applications can coexist together based on the user’s messaging preferences and service needs,” said Ms Raimondi.

Respondents were also asked about situations that would stop them from using OTT chat and instant messaging applications. The prime reason, and the one most frequently mentioned, was Wi-Fi access and connectivity at 25%, which indicates that there are Smartphone users who only access ‘free’ messaging applications when off the mobile network or do not have a data plan in place to use the service within their mobile package. The second reason was speed related, with 24% complaining that delivery times of OTT and IM messages sometimes took too long.

Ms Raimondi stated: “Among these Smartphone users, on comparing IM and SMS, IM is perceived as superior with regards to costs due to the perceived ‘free’ nature of the application.  This is because IM apps do not have a unit cost, such as SMS, but their costs are indirectly absorbed by the data plan or accessed via Wi-Fi.  SMS is seen as strong in its universal reach as it is a messaging service that is not dependent on data or Wi-Fi connectivity and has reach beyond apps. In terms of reliability and quality, there is a clear opportunity for a messaging service with both the reliability of SMS and rich communications of IM.”
“Mobile operators around the world are betting on Rich Communications Services (RCS) to compete in an increasingly competitive environment. Services such as “joyn™”, led by the GSMA and operating in numerous countries, is one of the main responses by carriers to offer a quality service that integrates the functionalities offered by OTT applications with the surety of SMS. When questioned about such a service in Brazil, respondents showed a hypothetical acceptance with only 1% of those questioned stating they would not use it.”

To learn more about the MAVAM 2013 research produced in conjunction with Convergencia Latina and view the full report, please contact