Worldwide, SMS has emerged as the cheapest, quickest, easiest form of peer-to-peer mobile communication ever known and is still growing in all regions.
MMS is not a failure, in fact far from it. Forecasts suggest MMS will also generate revenues of $50bn by 2010
Other mobile messaging technologies, (e-mail, instant messaging (MIM), and to a lesser extent push to talk (PTT) and video messaging), will grow in popularity. Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) has a strong future in certain markets, particularly the US where MIM volumes are expected to pass SMS by 2009 or 2010.
A new report from Portio Research predicts that the future for SMS is bright remaining the most widely used messaging format for some years to come with revenues estimated at 50bn USD by 2010 driven by almost 2.38 trillion messages. The report, 'Mobile Messaging Futures 2005 -- 2010' outlines progress albeit slower for other mobile messaging technologies especially mobile e-mail and instant messaging amid continued strong worldwide subscriber growth.
Despite the hype, since its launch in 2002, MMS has failed to assume the SMS mantle, hampered by interoperability issues and low handset penetration. MMS can however be considered a commercial success with similar revenue predictions as SMS by 2010 from considerably less traffic. The report suggests, "the industry must concentrate on increasing the use of Premium MMS as a marketing tool and a distribution channel while promoting growth of cheap pier to pier picture messaging. When MMS becomes cheap, simple and compelling, traffic will grow and revenue will follow."
Other messaging technologies including mobile e-mail, and mobile instant messaging, the report suggests, will continue to gain ground. However with a large proportion of global mobile subscriber growth in the next 5 or 6 years being in low-income per-capita emerging markets, and fixed-mobile substitution back on the corporate agenda in the mature mobile markets, there seems to be plenty of life still in voice, and in SMS. "No other non-verbal form of communication in the world is used by so many individuals and is experiencing such a rapid expansion of its user base," the report claims.