Table of Contents
Will WASPs Survive the Advent of Smartphones and Mobile Apps?
This research service provides a strategic analysis of the South African wireless application service provider (WASP) market. It focuses on the use of WASP services by South African enterprises across different sectors. A discussion of emerging market trends is provided, highlighting the application of different WASP services across enterprise operations, particularly in mobile commerce, client engagement and operational efficiency. The research also provides strategic recommendations for operators as wholesale providers of WASP services, based on the potential growth of the different WASP services.
-While there are indications of over-the-top (OTT) applications such as Whatsapp and Facebook messaging cannibalising person-to-person (P2P) text messaging revenues, the impact on application-to-person (A2P) messaging is expected to be less severe.
-Enterprise demand for wireless application services is being driven by the usage of the services across a growing number of business operations as well as by the growing number of enterprises relying on wireless application services to communicate with customers and their workforce.
-Frost & Sullivan has identified key operations in which enterprises are making extensive use of wireless application services, namely mobile commerce, client engagement, and the remote monitoring of systems in process-driven sectors:
oMobile advertising and mobile payment continue to dominate the application of wireless application services in enterprises in terms of volume.
oWhile enterprises in some of the more customer-centric sectors prefer to integrate services such as SMS into their (customer relationship management) CRM systems in order to automate the engagement, others are accessing services on a separate messaging platform, partly due to security concerns.
-Enterprises in manufacturing, mining, and healthcare are among those that have emerged as key users of wireless application services in their operations:
oHowever, financial services, retail, media, and entertainment sectors are expected to continue to be among the more extensive users of wireless application services, and will still be central in driving the market.
oA number of factors are driving the uptake of services such as SMS and USSD, and key among them are the cost, ease, and enhanced efficiency of communication.
-The South African wireless application service provider (WASP) market has become an important growth opportunity for mobile operators, and is expected to remain so due to enterprises’ growing reliance on mobile communications.
-This has been demonstrated by the growing number of new bearers such as premium USSD and premium IVR, which are supported on the operators’ networks.
-Consequently, greater investment in SMS infrastructure, through capacity upgrades and maintenance, is expected as operators look to meet the growing demand for wireless application services.
-Aggregators play a central role in the wireless application services value chain and are key to the development of the market. They possess both the technical capabilities to connect operators with customers as well as a deeper understanding of market needs and emerging trends:
oPartnerships with aggregators are, therefore, critical for operators to effectively service enterprise customers.
-While aggregators are still driving the development of the WASP market, they are also leveraging the gradual shift towards IP-based messaging. This has seen them build their capabilities in integrating bearers such as SMS into brand and enterprise mobile apps.
-Operators should consider introducing higher payout ratios for premium content for content providers and aggregators as it will further enable the development of the market:
oIn more developed markets such as the United Kingdom (UK), higher payouts of %, compared to % in South Africa, have afforded providers the resources to build their capabilities.
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