SMS confounds expectations: revenues to exceed $233 billion by 2014

Despite the recent economic carnage experienced the world over during the last two years, mobile messaging revenues continue to rise and the sector as a whole looks to be in excellent health according to Portio Research.

The appetite for mobile messaging continues unabated and is likely to be sustained for the foreseeable future. The new edition of Portio’s report, Mobile Messaging Futures 2010–2014, discusses the vast mobile messaging industry worldwide, currently generating revenues in excess of $150 billion, and set to continue growing to more than $233 billion by 2014.

The performance of SMS over the last five years has been staggering and remains so mainly because it is cheap, easy to use, convenient, discreet and universally acceptable to some four billion consumers worldwide, says the report. During 2009 SMS continued to grow in all markets, and the report confidently predicts that it will continue to do so for several more years. In 2009, worldwide SMS traffic topped five trillion messages, and that figure is set to exceed 10 trillion in 2013.

Today MMS, often cited as a failure, is a massive revenue generating segment of the market. Full year revenues for 2009 amount to almost $27 billion, an impressive figure, and lest people forget, not far off what SMS was generating a mere five years ago. MMS is growing fast in all major regions around the world as affordable camera-equipped handsets flood the market and increasingly become the norm.

Mobile email has come of age and the report predicts aggressive growth with revenues predicted to triple over the next five years. Enterprise email, not surprisingly, accounts for between 70-85% of current revenues as more and more devices meet strict corporate security requirements. Rapid adoption of smartphones with high end features and bundled data plans characterises the consumer segment.

Despite the popularity of SMS mobile Instant Messaging (mobile IM), especially popular with the youth segment that has grown up with the Internet equivalent, is growing fast. Portio predict huge growth for mobile IM with nearly a billion regular users by 2014. This massive growth in users will be accompanied by an equally impressive increase in revenues worth $18 billion by 2014.