3.5 trillion text messages to be sent across APAC in 2011
Mobile users in the Asia-Pacific region will send 3.5 trillion text and multimedia messages in 2011, telecoms researcher Ovum is predicting.
That number will be 14% higher than 2010, when 3 trillion text and multimedia messages were sent. This means Asia-Pacific will account for almost 50% of the 7.5 trillion messages projected worldwide for this year.
Revenue-wise, the messaging market in the region may generate US$39 billion in 2011, higher by 7% compared with last year. China was quite instrumental in this growth; it posted an 11% increase in revenue from the same period last year.
Ovum says Asia-Pacific is the third-highest-growing region in the world, after South America and Central America. From 2011 to 2016, the region may perform at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.76%.
This upward trend will not last though, Ovum predicts. Eventually, the market for traditional messaging will erode in favor of communication solutions by ISPs, device vendors, and social networks.
"While over the next four years the mobile messaging market will continue to grow, it is fast approaching an inflection point,” says Ovum analyst Neha Dharia.
"Consumers will increasingly choose to send messages via the growing list of internet-based messaging services that have entered the market, rather than the traditional text message.”
Dharia also attributes this decline to the aggressive entry of smartphones and the proliferation of third-party messaging services on them. Handset vendors like RIM, Nokia and Apple are threatening SMS providers with such services as the BlackBerry Messenger, Ovi Messaging, and iMessage, respectively.
Ovum’s report suggests that it’s time for mobile operators to expand their messaging options online. However, they should not just mimic existing ones.
"Simply replicating a popular third-party service won’t result in success for an operator-branded service. Operators must offer over and above a basic service, by leveraging exclusive information they hold on consumers, such as frequently called contacts,” Dharia says.