Informa Telecoms & Media says SMS text messages will dominate mobile messaging traffic and revenues to 2016 despite the rise of ‘over the top’ mobile messaging apps. Mobile operators are expected to generate a total of $722.7 billion in SMS revenue between 2011 and 2016 as global SMS revenue increases at a compound annual growth rate of 3% over the five year period.
Last year’s annual total of 5.9 trillion SMS messages worldwide will reach 9.4 trillion messages by 2016. However, other messaging use will also increase, which means the SMS share of global mobile messaging traffic will fall from 64.1% last year to 42.1% in 2016. Meanwhile instant messaging traffic across mobile networks will increase from 1.6 trillion messages in 2011 to 7.7 trillion messages in 2016, giving it a 34.6% share of traffic.
Pamela Clark-Dickson, senior analyst for Mobile Content & Applications at Informa Telecoms & Media, said “There will not be a uniform decline in mobile operators’ SMS traffic and revenues as a result of the adoption and use of over-the-top messaging services. Factors such as the operators’ pricing strategies, and the penetration of smartphones and mobile broadband in a market will determine how quickly and to what extent substitution occurs. For example, operators offering integrated tariffs that include a balanced proportion of voice, SMS and mobile data, are continuing to see growth in their SMS traffic and less impact on their SMS revenues.”