Mobile operator 3 UK has announced a steep increase in the cost of sending MMS messages. Starting 13 June, the cost of sending an MMS will rise from 17.4p (US $0.25) to 40p (US $0.58). The company is advising customers that they can use other ways to send photo or video messages, including mobile apps such as Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Viber.
Here is new chapter in the saga of the MNOs versus the OTT providers—an operator is actively pushing its customers toward the OTTs and away from its own messaging services. The operator’s recommendation about using Skype, etc., indicate that it views the eclipse of MMS by free or near-free OTT services to be inevitable, and therefore that there is no longer any real reason to try and keep the price of MMS down. The price hike brings 3’s MMS cost in line with those of rival operators O2, Vodafone and EE, but while 3’s MMS service may be competitive with those of the other MNOs in the U.K., it is anything but with those of the OTTs.