Monday, 2 March 2009

The MDA latest MMS and SMS figures

The Mobile Data Association recently announced their quarterly report highlighting that both text messaging and picture messaging is still growing despite the fact that the UK is in the grips of a recession.

The highlights of the report are as follows:

The numbers are positive for the industry, revealing:

In the UK we sent a total of 78.9 billion text messages in 2008 - 216 million per day - an increase of 38% over the previous year

We are seeing similarly impressive growth of MMS, or video and picture messaging, a newer technology which is gathering pace as the number of camera phones increase and the technology improves.

In 2008 we sent 553 million MMS messages in the UK year on year this is up 23%

On Christmas day 2008 over 3000 pictures or videos were sent from mobile phones every minute this was a massive usage spike and proved the theory that picture messaging is normally triggered by an event.

So what’s driving these trends?

One of the key trends identified is the way people use SMS and MMS for different purposes. Early in the development of picture messaging technologies it was thought that MMS would eventually replace SMS due to its richer content. However this has not been the case and in reality two technologies continuing to grow and co-exist. This is because Text messaging is being used very much for conversational activity, how are you today, meet you in the pub, running late etc Whereas MMS is very much more event driven, in other words people need a reason to do so, such as taking and sending picture messages at birthdays, at Christmas or on holiday for example.

The mobile operators in the UK have been very fast to respond to mobile users in the UK by offering really competitive and creative tariffs, whether you text, talk or surf the Internet, As a result of this they have made users feel confident that that are not going to get hit with a large bill at the end of each month.

There has also been a significant uptake in the number of businesses using text messaging to communicate with their customers from dentists with appointment reminders to repair company’s informing their customers on the arrival time of the service engineer.

What will we see in the short to medium term future for mobile technologies?

New applications act only to further enhance the way we use our mobile. It is far from just a phone. From Twitter, to Skype to video and mobile content the experience for consumers just keeps getting richer and more appealing. In the medium term future we can expect to use our mobile phone from buying a train ticket to paying for a coffee using new mobile payment technologies. This added convenience brought to us by our mobile phone will be the next big innovation encouraging us to use our mobile phones more and more.

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