Test messaging here to stay

Further to the reports last week that Apple’s iMessage with toll the death of SMS, Acision’s Taco Schoute, SVP Messaging, commented on why text messaging is here to stay.

Schoute said: “The growing ubiquity of smartphones, coupled with the rise of instant messaging platforms such as BlackBerry Messenger, WhatsApp and now iMessage has sparked premature predictions that SMS as a communications tool is in decline. However, to suggest that SMS is on the wane is to ignore industry statistics; in China alone, 26 billion text messages were sent during the Chinese New year celebration period, while CTIA recently reported that one trillion text messages were sent in the US during the second half of 2010.

“The fact that the humble SMS is continuing to enjoy such strong traction in two of the world’s largest and most sophisticated mobile markets underscores the ongoing prominence of the platform. Although messaging apps like iMessenger can work on an increasing number of mobile phones, the groups that can communicate with each other using the exact same app, remain smaller and more fragmented than the SMS community.”

He added that based on its unrivalled reach, working on the mobile phones of more than five billion people across the globe, SMS is the only global messaging service that works on almost everybody’s phone and without the need for a 3G or WiFi connection. “For the same reasons, SMS will also be the secure and reliable basis for the majority of the world’s enterprise and machine-to-machine communications in the years to come.”

“Furthermore, SMS is still evolving. Within the next year, five of the world’s leading operator groups, including Telefonica, Orange and Vodafone, will roll out RCS-e, together with major device manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC, RIM (Blackberry) and Nokia,” Schoute noted.

“This interoperable extension to the existing mobile platform will enhance and evolve the SMS experience by enabling peer to peer and group messaging, threaded cross-platform conversational views, multi-media file transfers and multi device communications. In this way, the innovations tipped as the successors to SMS will in fact be incorporated into what remains the most popular and profitable form of messaging, indicating that there is plenty of life left in SMS yet,” he concluded.