It really is still good to chat, and engage.

20th November 2020

By Neil Downing, VP of Products at TMT Analysis.

Telecom operators are having to rethink their next few years. Deciding how to deal with the current challenges of Covid, the possibility of severe economic recession and notable shifts in customer preferences (driven in large part by restrictions on movement) means an uncertain path back to normality for telco’s globally.

It has been three decades since British Telecom’s ‘It’s Good To Talk’ commercials hit screens big and little, starring the actor Bob Hoskins. Those four words, had such immense power that they become the focal point for all of BT’s consumer advertising. People have clearly been watching reruns of the adds globally and taking the core message to heart because consumers and brands are doing just that. And a lot – just unfortunately not with each other in person. ‘Talk’ today means far more than traditional voice though. And voice for that matter.

Hard to believe but the first chat platform was released 40 years ago now by CompuServe. It took a few years for this (then) radical concept to bed in and subsequently the first widely used online messaging platform was ICQ (short for “I seek you”) in 1996. May 3rd 2009 saw the genie truly out of the bottle with the launch of WhatsApp. This cross-platform, over-the-top (OTT) messaging and Voice over IP service caught the imagination of the world, with many wishing to replicate its success. But with over 2 billion users in 180 countries, WhatsApp sits on top as the undisputed king of the chat app castle today.

Whilst OTT has disrupted the traditional telco and cable/satellite landscape, operators are starting to realise that partnering with OTT players is the most beneficial way forward. This approach offers advantages to both parties and provides an opportunity for combined future growth. One thing for certain is that both brands and their consumers need all these parties.

Not being able to interact with their clients in person to a large extent right now means brands are having to rely on working even smarter with digital channels to frame and deliver their marketing, transactional and informative content. Communications need to be two-way, coming across as natural conversations.

Given one third of the world’s population do not even have access to the internet today, never mind smartphones, relying on digital channels using only the internet for the delivery of content to people is not the best commercial move. This is where a channel approaching 28 years of age is really showing its mettle – Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS.

Ubiquitous, something almost everybody already feels comfortable and transcending demographics, A2P SMS is something we here at TMT Analysis see as being very much on the rise in 2020. Given 98% of successfully delivered A2P SMS are read, the majority within a handful of minutes, it’s easy to see why. And with a global projected market value expected to reach over $60 billion come 2025, who is TMT Analysis to argue!

Our customers use us every day to route billions of SMS messages, provide fraud and identity management as well as bespoke insight and market intelligence on mobile numbers, networks and devices. At the end of the day, it’s about enhancing the user experience.

Relying on us to ensure the rapid and accurate routing of SMS anywhere in the world is a great platform for any company to start from. TMT Analysis is after all the leading provider of global mobile number intelligence so would you expect anything less?

For more information on our Superfast Routing Service, Velocity, drop us a line at


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