Saturday, January 19, 2013

Goodbye SMS-Based Text Messaging

ASYMCO put up an interesting piece titled What's up with text messaging? yesterday about texting in Spain. Volume is dropping rapidly with Internet Protocol (IP) based message apps like Whatsapp, Apple's iMessage and Facebook messaging replacing a voice network based text protocol called Short Message Service (SMS). SMS has been around since 1982 and has become a real cash cow for wireless providers. 

Here's more from that ASYMCO post:
  • Whatsapp reported that it set a record of 18 billion messages processed over New Year’s Eve. 
  • In October Apple announced that iMessage had delivered 300 billion messages during the preceding 12 months.
  • Globally SMS traffic is still rising. It’s expected to reach 9.6 trillion in 2012, but at least one analyst forecasts  that SMS’s share of global mobile messaging traffic will fall from 64% in 2011, to 42% in 2016.
I'd also put Skype on the list as a disruptor.

Expect similar results in the United States and other countries. Wireless providers have seen this coming for a while now and (I believe) it's the reason we've seen most implement data caps while, at the same time, encouraging customers to consume more data (translation - go over your data cap) using services like mobile video streaming. 

If you want to know more about SMS and IP based texting I've got an earlier posted titled Why Are My iPhone Text Messages Sometimes Blue and Sometimes Green? linked here.

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