Texting Overtakes Voice in US Mobile Phone Usage: Nielsen’s Report

Posted on September 30, 2008  /  2 Comments

The number of voice calls being made has remained steady over the past two years, but text messages sent and received have increased by a staggering 450 percent.

At the end of 2007, text messaging had just overtaken voice calls 218 to 213. But by the end of the second quarter of this year, an average mobile phone subscriber placed or received 204 calls, compared with sending or receiving 357 text messages.

Teens between the ages of 13 and 17 now send or receive 1,742 messages per month, compared to the second-highest age group, 18 to 24 year olds, who send and receive about 790 messages.

Read the story in Wired News or New York Times.


  1. I presume the relative cost of sending a sms is lower in US and this may be the reason for the above.

    It is interesting to see Sri Lankan Situation. If the above argument is true the sms usage should decline given the low voice tarrif, Per second billing and all you can eat type of pricing plans.

    Hope lirnasia have some data relating this or prof. could share his view on this.

  2. Our analysis of the data from the BOP Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Philippines pointed to the ratio between the cost of a call and an SMS as the key determinant of SMS use. India, where an SMS cost about the same as a one minute call had the lowest use.

    We are wary about extrapolating from Asia to other places as much as we are wary about extrapolating from other regions to Asia. But this would indeed be a good starting point for analysis. Also, you have to understand that the significance of price for those at the bottom of the pyramid may not be the same as for those at the top.

    US has a lot of bucket pricing–buckets of minutes, buckets of SMS. So straight comparisons will be tough. One can also imagine that the psychology of a user of SMS that comes as a part of a bucket is different from one who is paying for an individual SMS.