Mobile Data Association announces results of third quarterly state of the nation report

The Mobile Data Association (MDA) has announced its quarterly research findings for UK mobile phone activity from July to September 2008 for text messaging (SMS) and picture and video messaging (MMS) and also identifies new trends. This quarterly guide provides analysis of current, historical and seasonal trends and growth factors based on the network operators’ actual usage figures.

New devices and an ever growing variety of mobile applications have driven overall growth figures in 2008. SMS growth continues to astound while multimedia messages shows an increasing level of growth. Consumer awareness, the fact that nearly all phones now come ready configured to work with MMS and attractive tariff bundles from the mobile network operators helps fuel this growth.

Compared to Q3 2007, the UK third quarter for 2008 showed a 38% increase in text messaging, showing that Britons are sending on average 60 million more messages a day compared to the same period in 2007, up from 4,759,366,667 in 2007 to 6,577,926,441 in 2008.

Additionally, Britons now send 1,495,525 picture and video messages every day. Picture messaging rose by 20%, from 37,833,203 in Q3 2007 to 45,364,272 for the same period this year. On average 6.5 billion text messages have been sent per month, totalling over 1.5 billion messages a week or almost 217 million per day.

Steve Reynolds, chairman of the Mobile Data Association, said: “Our usage figures highlight the UK’s continued enthusiasm and appetite for mobile phones. The mobile landscape is constantly evolving. New mobile phones, with easy to use software, and creative tariffs from the mobile networks, are encouraging people of all ages to use more of their functionality – from music, video and pictures to email communications and now GPS and mapping on the move. The mobile phone has evolved far beyond simple voice and text messaging: it sits at the centre of our lives at home and at work.”

Reynolds concluded: “Due to the ever changing landscape, we are working closely with the mobile operators to provide future reports that will identify, in detail, the many different ways in which we are using our mobile phones. We’ll be looking specifically at trends in mobile Internet usage and comparing business and consumer uses. These trends are important for the whole industry to see; there remains a hunger for market data and industry intelligence. Like economic forecasting, the data provides the clues and indicators to new directions and growth areas.”

Mobile Data Association advisor, Rob Bamforth, principal analyst at Quocirca, said: “Text messaging (SMS) remains a strong story. It has shown good growth as sending messages from mobile phones becomes an essential part of everyday life for many people. Increasingly, messages are including pictures, sound and video as the number of multimedia messages (MMS) continues to grow. The emergence of more generous messaging bundles offered by mobile operators supports the impetus for message sending to remain a natural and automatic way of communicating while on the move.”