SMS is taking off in the Americas, mobile e-mail continues its strong growth in developed regions, subscriber growth is driving messaging adoption in the Asia/Pacific Region, and social networking is lifting the messaging boat across nearly all regions, according to a study by ABI Research. The combination of factors is expected to increase revenues from mobile messaging to $US212 billion by 2013, ABI found.
The growth of messaging services will have different region-specific drivers. Despite the differences, however, the common growth denominator is that messaging services provide a timely, cost-effective, customer-specific communication and information capability. ABI analyst Dan Shey said: "You will not find many customers worldwide who don't find messaging cost-effective and valuable for communications and delivery of information. The range of capabilities, services and pricing options can be fitted to the economic and social differences of each region, and the result quite simply is steady growth over the next five years".
But the benefits driving messaging growth go beyond its obvious economic, social, and convenience advantages relative to voice calling. The next stage of messaging growth will be strongly influenced by new input and access capabilities and integration across mobile and fixed-line platforms. According to Shey: "Innovation in messaging input, including touch screens, voice-to-text, and advanced keyboard designs, makes initiating a mobile message very easy. By combining input options with greater ease of communicating across mobile and fixed platforms regardless of messaging service, messaging providers serve customers' needs very well in both the consumer and business domains".
And is there a third stage of growth for mobile messaging? "Some very creative companies are finding unique ways to incorporate advertising in mobile messaging. If done right, advertising will completely change the mobile messaging market," Shey said.
Len Rust is publisher of The Rust Report.