Global mobile messages to surpass 7.5 trillion in 2011

The number of mobile text, picture and video messages sent worldwide will surpass 7.5 trillion in 2011, according to research firm Ovum, marking a 12.5 per cent increase on the 6.7 trillion sent last year.

Ovum also forecasts that the SMS-based messaging market will generate revenues of $153bn over the year, eight per cent more than it generated in 2010.

However, according to Ovum analyst Neha Dharia, while the mobile messaging market will continue to grow over the next four years, it is fast approaching an inflection point in the face of competition from IP-based messaging tools.

“Consumers will increasingly choose to send messages via the growing list of internet-based messaging services that have entered the market, rather than the traditional text message,” she said.

“The trend is intensifying due to the growing presence of smartphones, low-cost data plans, and the prevalence of third-party messaging service providers on the mobile phone. To continue to drive revenues from messaging, mobile operators will need to be innovative in their approach to both the services they offer and their business models.”

The research firm stated that device vendors in particular have been successful with messaging services to rival SMS, with RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger, Apple’s iMessage and Nokia’s Ovi Messaging tools that have all proved popular amongst consumers and are capturing a share of mobile operators’ SMS revenues.

Dharia also stated that social messaging is growing in importance, as social networking sites are providing new ways for users to communicate with their mobile phone and transforming the content of the message.

Facebook has championed its messaging service, which allows users to share photographs and other media, while Twitter has triggered discussions over hot topics and current affairs, and claims that 40 per cent of tweets come from mobile devices.

According to the report, mobile operators should expand their messaging portfolio and add their own internet-based messaging option to claw back lost market share, while ensuring that they do not to replicate exactly those already in the market place.


  1. Avatar james vincent 15/09/2011 @ 3:48 pm

    I agree that mobile networks should add their own internet-based messaging service. But there is no innovation or creativity from these people. They are to concerned with fiddling with price plan minutes and banging an extra 16p onto call charges. In my opinion at least, they need to start including MMS into price plans. that would make life better for a lot of people to start with. Rather than using a 3rd party app to send my pic/audio file over my data/wifi connection. The industry has failed us all…

  2. Avatar Roger Grice 16/09/2011 @ 12:31 am

    That is a lot of messages. It’s a huge, improvement over the number of messages sent in say 2001, or 2002, 2007 or any other year for that matter. In each of these years the statement that SMS has reached it’s inflection point has been loudly trumpeted by commentators. There are dozens of richer alternatives, so why SMS? We should stop making predictions and try to understand what goes on inside the typical users head, and why SMS keeps growing. Concluding that the typical SMS user is not an industry specialist is the first step in answering this question.

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