SMS market to shrug off competition and remain strong

Global SMS levels look set to remain strong, at least until 2017, reports.

A new study by Portio Research has found that despite claims of declining SMS volumes, the figures themselves tell a rather different story.

It found that global SMS revenues will reach $133.8 billion (£87.4 billion) by the end of 2013, after having grown steadily every year since the early 1990s. Furthermore, when looking into the coming years, there was no decline shown to be on the horizon, but instead this growth looked set to continue at “staggering” levels.

Many of the claims came from a rise in over-the-top (OTT) messaging services, such as WhatsApp. The researchers claimed that despite the rise in such services, their impact on SMS has been minimal at best, with any levelling out of volumes having already been predicted before alternatives came along because of market saturation.

Now, with smartphones quickly becoming the norm, the rise in MNOs (mobile network operators) is said to be further driving growth in the industry. This, of course, is positive news for brands already using SMS marketing as it shows a market that’s forecast to remain strong for many years to come.

Commenting, Portio Research director Karl Whitfield told “[In recent years] we have seen many reports that operators are losing $20 billion (£13 billion) to $30 billion (£20 billion) in SMS revenue to OTT messaging apps.

“We see reports that OTT traffic will be double that of SMS by the end of 2013. This is wrong on both counts. SMS was levelling off before OTT apps came along, and now MNOs are gaining revenue from increased data usage instead. The MNO community has not really ‘lost’ very much at all, but there is much to play for going forward.”

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