Monthly News Roundup: August 2021

2 min read

Hello again and welcome to our monthly roundup of all the most important and interesting news in the world of telecommunications for the month of August. It’s been a long road but now a large portion of the world is vaccinated and out enjoying the lovely summer weather (sorry to people in the southern hemisphere), so we won’t blame you for missing any of these news items!

Viber eyes Nepal as a potential market

Rakuten Viber is experiencing significant growth in Nepal and increasing its investments in local partnerships. The company’s CEO, Djamel Agaoua, shared these insights in a recent interview with Khabarhub, a Nepalese news site.

According to the interview, Viber’s presence in the Nepalese market grew by 26% last year. The company aims to convince all adults in Nepal to use Viber. It is also working towards convincing people over the age of 16 to use Viber as their major communication platform.

Viber has partnered with several companies and institutions in Nepal for everything from eCommerce and financial services to providing messaging support to local health authorities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Viber has grown its user base to 1 billion in 190 countries, with an overall audience growth of 20% over the last year, the report said.

Latin America — a huge opportunity for MNOs

Earlier this month our friends at MEF (Mobile Ecosystem Forum) held MEF Connects LATAM, an event focused on mobile and messaging business in Latin America. GMS attended some sessions and brought back some interesting data that we think you’d like to hear about:

Latin America is a fast-growing market for mobile, especially as there is a fairly young population compared to other continents with a median age of 31 (Europe’s median age is 42). This means that a larger proportion of the population is not yet old enough to own a mobile device — but this is changing as they grow older.

Globally, Latin America is 3rd in traffic generation but only 7th in revenue generation when it comes to A2P SMS. Some of this is down to pricing, due to the relative weakness of some currencies in Latin America. However, messaging protection is also lacking. Grey routes and unsecured networks are a big limiter on growth in the region.

Additionally, it is interesting to note that RCS is growing swiftly in Latin America. Currently 28% of Android users in the region have RCS functionality on their devices but this is expected to rise to 86% in just four short years. Currently though, the communication channel of choice for businesses and individuals remains SMS.

Millennials love mobile banking, but everyone wants to stay secure

2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic saw almost every aspect of life making a shift towards digital. Most companies switched to remote or hybrid working, the weekly pub quiz moved to a group video call, and a huge percentage of people started to use digital services more.

A recent survey by PYMNTS and Nok Nok asked consumers how their online and mobile banking activities had changed over the past year. What they found was an increase in usage across the board, as you might expect, but particularly from millennials. In fact, 60% of millennials reported an increase in their usage of online and mobile banking.

The survey also quizzed participants about the security of their accounts. It found that 24% of respondents were interested in using 2FA and 3FA, with bridge millennials the most interested at 48.8%.

The banking industry needs to get behind 2FA, as their customers are looking for a company that can provide it. For more on how SMS and messaging can support banks and financial services companies have a look at our latest article.

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