Despite warnings of turmoil throughout the global economy, growth in mobile messaging shows no signs of slowing, according to new research. The study, commissioned by mobile messaging firm Airwide Solutions and conducted by comScore M:Metrics looked at the use of mobile messaging across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The study shows that the number of people sending text messages (SMS) across the EU is growing 3.3% year on year, a figure only beaten by MMS which is growing by 9.2%.
The UK is faring particularly well with over 25 million text messages sent each day. Growth is driven in particular by people who earn over £30,000 as those sending SMS messages every day is increasing 16.9% year on year. However, the growth in mobile messaging by those earning less than £30,000 is also doing well with almost 4% annual growth of those sending SMS everyday.
France is seeing the second biggest increase with 8.1% more people sending text messages this year than the same period last year. Interestingly the French have also been the most keen to embrace picture messaging with 15.2% more people sending MMS than in 2007 (the biggest increase across Europe).
However, it is not only Europe which is seeing a continued growth in SMS and MMS. Airwide predicts a worldwide growth in mobile messaging over the next few years, particularly in less economically developed and newly industrialised regions such Asia and Africa where fixed lines are expensive and difficult to set up. It is in these regions, where mobile phones are being used not only as a communications tool but also as a driver for social change, making communications easier, cheaper and much less time-consuming.
In the Western World growth will be fuelled by a combination of mobile operators introducing a greater number of personalised services such as out-of-office, auto-forward and storage/back-up capabilities along with a continued uptake in mobile marketing and advertising – a development which in 2009 will see the introduction of location based mobile advertising.
Jay Seaton, Chief Marketing Office at Airwide Solutions commented: “Whilst an increase in mobile messaging traffic is certainly good news for the industry, it also underlines the need to ensure that an operator’s underlying infrastructure is efficient and equipped to support the increase in traffic volumes over the years ahead. With most people now relying on their text and picture messages being delivered instantaneously, mobile operators cannot afford for their infrastructure to become congested. As the volume of messaging increases, they also need to be able to protect their networks and subscribers from potential security threats such as mobile fraud, spam and viruses.”