Randall Stross of the New York Times has an excellent analysis and shows some very good reporting around the SMS industry and to what lengths the carriers will go to preserve what they have.
In many ways this makes me think of Twitter and the value it would bring to a mobile operator, much the same way that Plaxo will bring value to Comcast. Loyalty and usage fees from that usage are my first thoughts.
Let's face it. Twitter is sticky. It's addictive. It's messaging. It conforms length wise to SMS very well. Most of all, people are already using various clients on mobile devices already to Twitter back and forth.
I say, some smart mobile operator will bag Twitter in 2009 simply to be in control of it. Heck, maybe even a group of them will buy it up.