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SMS is still king of mobile messaging

Traffic is expected to break 8 trillion in 2011

Among mobile messaging services, SMS has consistently claimed the top spot. With its widespread reach to virtually all mobile subscribers, SMS has long been the most popular messaging service and has helped MNOs significantly offset the effect of falling voice revenues.


6.9 SMS trillion messages were sent in 2010

SMS traffic is expected to break 8 trillion in 2011.

249 billion MMS were sent, in 2010.
• 480.6 million users of mobile email in 2010, expected to quadruple by 2015
• 311.2 million users of mobile instant messaging (IM) in 2010, expected to grow to 1.6 trillion by 2015.
• Portio says: “Messaging is still king. We want to be absolutely clear about this. Messaging still dominates [mobile operators’] non-voice revenues worldwide”. Worldwide mobile messaging market will be worth over US$200 billion in 2011 (SMS is $127 billion of this), reaching $334.7 billion by 2015.

With the changing dynamics of the mobile industry and growth trends therein, there are of course signs that one day SMS will no longer be the king of non-voice revenues and we envisage that the growth of worldwide SMS revenue will slow post-2011.

In 2010, worldwide SMS revenue stood at a staggering USD 114.6 billion and is forecast to grow to almost USD 127 billion by end-2011. Annual worldwide SMS traffic volumes rose to over 6.9 trillion at end-2010, and total SMS traffic is expected to break 8 trillion by end-2011

But SMS has seen legendary success. It has generated revenues for operators worldwide of approximately USD 585 billion since it was invented in the mid-1990s. According to our forecasts, we calculate that it is still set to earn those MNOs another USD 726 billion over the next five years, to year-end 2015. After this time, the future of SMS becomes less certain. For now, MNOs should focus on the fact that SMS will generate more than USD 1 trillion over the next seven years.

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