Worldwide SMS revenues to hit $67bn by 2012

A new report from Portio Research forecasts a healthy future for SMS, which continues to be the star of the data services show with traffic volumes and revenues that continue to confound predictions. Although the growth of SMS revenues will not be as aggressive as the growth of SMS volumes due to declining prices, by 2012 global SMS revenues are expected to reach 67bn USD, driven by 3.7 trillion messages.

The report, 'Mobile Messaging Futures 2007 - 2012' outlines an exciting future for other mobile messaging technologies especially instant messaging and mobile e-mail amid continued strong worldwide subscriber growth.

If there was one message this report should get across it is this: SMS continues to be a phenomenal success as the cheapest, quickest and easiest to use form of peer-to-peer mobile communication. Markets have continued to grow and greatly exceeded the predictions of similar research carried out in 2005. SMS traffic has not flattened out in mature markets but continued to boom whilst the US market has grown much faster than expected. The SMS market despite declining prices continues to be fuelled by new subscribers.

In Asia alone, in the five minutes it takes to read this press release and in every subsequent five minute period for the next six years, 2,267 people will have bought their first ever mobile phone. For the majority, these new handsets will offer little affordable functionality apart from basic voice and SMS services. This translates into an additional 1.4bn new mobile subscribers in Asia alone with a consequent boom in SMS traffic in the region.

By 2011, the report predicts, mobile instant messaging (MIM), especially in markets such as North America, will supplant SMS as the mainstream messaging service as smartphones and wireless Internet proliferate.

Operators, the report suggests, need to strike a balance between SMS and IM pricing in order to prevent the cannibalisation of SMS revenues in the future.

'Mobile Messaging Futures 2007 - 2012' provides detailed discussion of all mobile messaging technologies including SMS, MMS, MIM, E-mail, Videomail and Unified Messaging as well as business models, network technology impacts, value chain shifts and advice for operators backed by a wealth of charts and statistics.