Plenty of mileage left in the SMS, say experts

The humble text message still has plenty of life left in it, a tech expert has told

Tomi Ahonen, a telecoms and tech author says that despite its falling share of the messaging sphere, the SMS is still the most used mobile service in the world; a statistic which includes voice.

Industry experts believe that application-to-person (A2P) services are the driving force behind the longevity of the protocol.

Brent Wantenaar, aggregation product manager at Cellfind, says that SMS is becoming an even more important marketing and communications tool, given the saturation across other digital channels.

“SMS reaches a device the consumer always carries and almost never switches off. Even when a consumer’s landline number and fixed-address change, they are likely to keep the same cellphone number,” Wantenaar explains.

The open rates for SMS marketing remain by far the highest out of any of the channels, which Wantenaar says is thanks to the personal and trusted nature of the device.

The short message service celebrated its 20th birthday last December, with the first text message being sent by Vodafone engineer in 1992. Since then the SMS has gone from strength to strength until recently it had to compete with other forms of communication.

According to, carriers are now seeing declining profits from text messages; yet, World Wide Worx managing director, Arthur Goldstuck, believes that there is still plenty of mileage left in the SMS.

“It remains the most effective means of mass communication between a business and its customers,” he said.