The rise and rise of SMS

January 26, 2007 Mobile communications means many things to different people, though when the first commercial SMS message was sent on December 3, 1992, its future was not seen as significant in comparison to the potential for voice and multimedia communications - simple text messaging looked like a budget-priced stopgap until mobile bandwidth grew and dropped in price. How wrong we were ! In the late nineties, the technology achieved mainstream status among younger audiences as a medium for audience voting for that other modern day phenomenon, reality television, but its convenient asynchronous nature has seen its star continue to rise and it is now among the most widely used communication mediums of all. Since the turn of the century, text messaging has been experiencing phenomenal growth and figures released this week showing that the number of SMS sent globally for the traditional peak period of New Year increased to a remarkable 33 billion messages on New Year's Day - that's 30 percent up on last year.

These statistics, which prove the continuing significance of SMS to the lives of billions of people, are being attributed to increased use of SMS by groups outside of the traditional young user segments.

With around two billion active SMS users worldwide, it is by far the largest messaging community in the world, and with mobile penetration on the rise the future looks bright for SMS.

Across the globe, record traffic growth in established messaging markets combined with a number of newer emerging SMS markets caused a volume growth of messages far beyond anticipated levels.

Henk de Boer is the senior vice president of messaging at LogicaCMG, the messaging specialist that serves over one billion subscribers in 135 countries. He sees a continuing bright future for the medium, expects the double-digit growth of SMS to continue. "Mobile users are able to fully rely on the capability of SMS to guarantee real-time delivery of their personal messages to businesses, friends and family at time critical moments," said de Boer.

"LogicaCMG expects this trend to continue further still as SMS and internet-based messaging services such as mobile instant messaging are made interoperable," he added.

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