Text Messaging: Still Going Strong, 20 Years On

POSTED BY Global Administrator
The latest edition of our mobile messaging report covers two additional markets – social messaging and RCS/RCS-e, as well as SMS, MMS, IM and email – but it is SMS, or text messaging which will remain the largest type of mobile messaging traffic over the next five years, and more importantly, the largest revenue-generator. Text is now 20 years old, making it positively ancient in fast-moving technology terms, but communications markets are a bit like quantum mechanics: different rules apply. In fact, the age of SMS means that it has reached a point of development where virtually every mobile handset can send or receive it – in other words it’s nearly ubiquitous. So-called OTT messaging services like IM and social messaging may offer faster, free messaging, but their fragmented communities (with the exception of aggregating services, such as, eBuddy, and NUVOs, such as textPlus) mean without juggling multiple apps users won’t be able to reach all their contacts, and even then many still won't be reachable. With interconnection, a text message can reach a handset on any network, in any country: the average user might not be so excited by that, but global brands like Coca-Cola see text messaging as the first port-of-call for trying to reach as many of its customers as possible with a marketing campaign. While P2P traffic growth may be hitting its proverbial head on the glass ceiling, A2P traffic, driven by enterprise adoption, is booming. SMS is also reliable: with OTT services, mobile broadband connectivity (which cannot always be relied upon) is essential. So why shouldn’t operators place all their chips on text messaging over the next few years? Well, the long history of SMS means that years of competition have driven down the cost, squeezing the revenues they receive from it. We believe operators need to adopt a number of different strategies, including continuing to work with SMS in different ways, but also looking at new technologies. You can read more about them in our new mobile messaging report here…