A Portio Research report suggests that SMS will continue to be the cash cow of mobile data revenues for some time to come. Traffic and revenues continue to keep growing through the economic downturn.
The entire mobile messaging industry worth USD 130 billion in 2008 is predicted to be worth USD 224 billion by 2013, 60 percent of non-voice service revenues.
The report, 'Mobile Messaging Futures 2008 - 2013' ventures that there is nothing likely to stop continued growth of mobile messaging in the short term, driven by a cocktail of ubiquitous SMS, media rich MMS, enterprise based mobile email and youth conscious mobile IM.
SMS remains 'King' because there is no cheap, easy to use alternative that will work with all phones and across all networks. In the US market, where SMS was a comparative slow starter, use per subscriber per month is now almost double the European average. In China average users send over 100 messages each month whereas the Filipinos continue to be the leading exponents with 755 messages each month.
Portio also predict a bright future for mobile email even though Japan is the only market where consumer mobile email has surpassed the use of SMS. Email is still the most popular form of business communication and the report suggests that mobile e-mail users worldwide will quadruple from approximately a quarter of a billion users in 2008 to over a billion users by the end of 2013.
The rising star in the mobile messaging constellation is mobile instant messaging (MIM), which is still beset by the technical problems of interoperability. Portio however predict exponential growth in mobile IM users, surging from a worldwide total of 111 million users in 2008 to hit a massive 867 million users by the close of 2013. This massive growth in users will be accompanied by an equally impressive 5-fold increase in revenues from approximately USD 2.5 billion in 2008 to approximately USD 12.4 billion in 2013.
Since MMS hit the mainstream in 2004 the press and analysts have been critical about its level of success. Back then, they wanted to MMS reach the same value as SMS, USD $30bn, for it be considered a success; finally in 2009 this will be a reality. MMS is growing fast and certain countries, such as China and the United States, are becoming very big markets. Worldwide MMS traffic of 75 billion messages in 2008 is impressive, and the future growth looks very good in Asia, as affordable camera-equipped handsets flood the market with China leading the way.
'Mobile Messaging Futures 2008 - 2013' 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.