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Growth Forecasts for Worldwide Mobile Messaging

The worldwide mobile messaging market was worth $179.2 billion in 2010, it's forecast to rise to $209.8 billion in 2011, and on to $334.7 billion by the end of 2015 -- at a CAGR of 13.3 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to the latest market study by Portio Research.

The Asia Pacific region generated the highest mobile messaging revenue in 2010 and Latin America produced the least. Among the four mobile messaging service types, SMS yielded the highest revenue for operators in 2010, followed by MMS, then mobile e-mail and mobile instant messaging (IM).

SMS made the highest contribution to worldwide mobile messaging revenue in 2010 with a 63.9 percent share, followed by MMS with 18.1 percent. Mobile e-mail revenue made up 14.2 percent, and mobile IM’s 2010 share was 3.8 percent. Clearly, basic text messaging (SMS) is still the core revenue generating messaging service.

In 2010, worldwide SMS revenue stood at $114.6 billion and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 6.8 percent to reach $159 billion by end-2015. However, it is expected that post-2011, the growth of worldwide SMS revenue will slow down due to the falling prices of SMS and the growing popularity of other data services such as mobile broadband, e-mail and IM.

With close to a 40 percent contribution to worldwide SMS revenue in 2010, the Asia Pacific region continued to generate the largest regional share of SMS revenue worldwide. In 2011, messaging will still be responsible for more than 60 percent of global mobile data revenues.

In reality, SMS and MMS alone will contribute 55.7 percent to global data revenues in 2011.

In North America, SMS and MMS alone will contribute close to 56 percent to mobile data revenues in 2011, and if you add mobile e-mail and IM to the mix too, then messaging will make up more than 60 percent of mobile data revenues in North America in 2011.

SMS alone will still contribute 38.9 percent of total data revenues, despite this perception among mobile industry executives that total messaging services will only contribute 15 percent to data revenues in that region. Industry opinion has been somewhat distorted by media attention, which has focused primarily on smartphones, broadband and mobile apps.

Worldwide, messaging will continue to contribute more than 50 percent of global non-voice revenues for mobile network operators.

Portio forecasts show messaging revenues holding up at around 55 percent or more even in 2015, and that’s in a market where total mobile data revenues are growing fast. However, messaging is still growing too and holding its leading position.

SMS alone will continue to contribute 33.5 percent of mobile data revenues worldwide in 2015, to retain its position as the single biggest contributor. In 2015, even in North America, SMS will still generate 30.1 percent of mobile data revenues.

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