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Is the canary of SMS dying in mobile coalmine?

Apps have attacked the lucrative harvest of voice with the tenacity of hungry locusts. Now they have targeted the farmhouse of messaging. And the device makers have joined the feast with independent messaging outfits. The revenue from messaging services fell by almost 4% in 2013 to just below US$104 billion. It predicts that the decline in messaging revenue will be more pronounced in North America and Western Europe where the greatest penetration of smartphones and data users has been prevalent.

“The fast rising popularity of smartphone messaging applications, both from smartphone vendors Blackberry and Apple, and independent messaging applications like WhatsApp, Line Messenger and WeChat, is significantly hurting both operator messaging volumes and revenue,” said Nitesh Patel, Director, wireless media strategies director at Strategy Analytics. “While SMS volumes remained flat in 2013, operator revenue from messaging declined by almost 4 per cent”

The telecoms practice at consultants Deloitte predicts that instant messaging services on mobile phones will carry 50 billion messages per day globally in 2014 – more than twice the number of messages sent by SMS. However, it believes that SMS will continue to generate significantly greater revenues than IM services until 2018.

“Despite the growth in instant messaging services, Deloitte expects text messages to generate more than £60 billion ($100 billion) globally,” said Ed Shedd, head of Deloitte’s UK TMT practice. “This is about 50 times the total revenues from all instant messaging services.”

Here is the full report from telecomTV.

1 Comment to Is the canary of SMS dying in mobile coalmine?

  1. Rohan Samarajiva's Gravatar Rohan Samarajiva
    January 16, 2014 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Care needs to be exercised when extrapolating from stories based on smartphone-rich developed economies to our countries. What percentage of Bangladeshis use smartphones? In any case, Teleuse@BOP showed that missed calls were more popular than SMS in B’desh, so I would not worry too much about SMS revenues.

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