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In 2Q18, Ovum commissioned an online survey focused on communications, commerce, and media. The survey sampled 5,122 consumers across five markets – Brazil, China, South Africa, the UK, and the US – gauging their attitudes toward and use of communications apps and services.


  • The penetration of communications apps is almost at saturation point in emerging markets and heading that way in developed markets. This indicates that using apps for messaging is becoming habitual for consumers, in much the same way that SMS became a habitual behavior.
  • Over half of consumers in Brazil make video calls at least once a day, and almost 40% in China. In developed markets, video calling use is lower, but even so, more than 40% of consumers in the UK and the US make at least one video call a month. Telcos must consider whether 5G represents an opportunity for them to deploy video calling.

Features and Benefits

  • Analyzes communications trends unearthed by Ovum's Digital Consumer Insights 2018: Communications, Commerce, and Media survey.
  • Reveals opportunities for investment in communications apps and services.

Key questions answered

  • Which apps do consumers use the most for messaging, video calling, voice calling, sharing, and social networking?
  • How often do consumers engage with their communications apps and services?
  • What are the three top features that consumers use on their communications app, aside from messaging?
  • Do consumers like the idea of being able to access an enhanced SMS service?
  • Are consumers already using an enhanced SMS service?

Table of contents


  • Introduction
  • Download 1: Digital Consumer Insights 2018: Communications Apps and Services

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