Short Messaging Services (SMS) and mobile voice services are proving resilient even during financial crisis, as SMS in Asia/Pacific and Japan are expected to increase by 15.5% to reach 1.9 trillion in 2009 from 2008, according to IT research and advisory firm Gartner.
The research forecasts SMS volumes to surpass 2.1 trillion in 2010, a 12.7% increase from 2009. Indian mobile messaging volumes are expected to reach 191.6 billion messages in 2013. Gartner said that the messaging traffic and revenues continue to be driven by new subscribers in developing markets.
Madhusudan Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner, said: Strong organic growth continues in Asia’s developing markets, with marginal subscribers turning to low-cost messaging as an entry-level service. In the mature markets of the Asia/Pacific region, SMS has seen sustained healthy growth as a result of steady price declines and increasingly generous SMS and data bundles.
According to Gartner, carriers are expecting a slower messaging traffic increases going into 2010, but in many cases there will still be double-digit-percentage rises. Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) traffic picked up in Asia during 2008, driven by reduced prices and increased uploading of pictures to social networking sites.
However, SMS growth will be slow as mobile markets approach saturation and other types of messaging, including mobile e-mail mobile instant messaging, become more widely adopted. Integrated messaging clients on handsets will facilitate adoption of alternative messaging services, as will the use of alternative rich-messaging services on smartphones, according to IT research firm.
Mr Gupta added: Big bucket or large inclusive SMS and MMS bundles will also increase traffic by lowering the price barriers to usage. At the same time, competition and network efficiencies will continue to drive down the retail price of SMS and MMS for consumers. Application traffic will continue to support growth, especially in the mature markets.