Text messages sent to and from mobile phones will more than double over the next five years to 2.3 trillion messages sent by 2010, a survey said on Tuesday. [..] Total revenues from text messaging is forecast to grow to $72.5 billion in 2010 from $39.5 billion in 2005. [..] Gartner predicts the level of SMS messages will top 1.8 trillion in 2010" [adding that] "Wireless messaging is the most successful mainstream mobile data service to have emerged during the 30-year history of the cellular telecoms industry"In a nutshell: mobile messaging rules when it comes to data and it will keep ruling for the next five years. Forget about mobile TV, games, picture sharing and such. Messaging is king.
I have a small question, though. If messaging is the driver of future data revenues, is SMS going to be adequate for the user needs? My answer is no...
- SMS is limited in size of messages. It is not a problem when sending (people send Short Messages... fast and long SMS-typers are rare, although amazing to watch) but more when receiving. Screens are getting bigger, reading is not a problem. You can easily read a message sent from a PC on a mobile phone. Not with the current SMS. Combining more than one SMS is a horrible solution.
- SMS just allows a single recipient. You cannot send a message to more than one person (and you pay for each message...). You cannot do reply-all (although there are some cool companies working on it). That's very limiting in this new age of social networking.
- SMS does not support attachments. I am not talking PowerPoint here. That's power users. I am talking pictures... Every phone now has a camera. People want to send the pictures out. MMS has been a failure for the cost, configuration and clumsiness (in this order). The concept is still very valid. And a clear need is there.
So... that leaves you with the only option: the next SMS. Push-messaging (yep, SMS is push) based on standards, pre-installed on devices, capable of supporting attachments, reply-all and receiving your email. Your mobile life integrated with your web life. It's a SyncML client, or p-Imap or Lemonade. I do not really care. But I am convinced that is the future of mobile messaging for the three billion mobile users out there.
Not really a novelty, I know, but "Wireless messaging is the most successful mainstream mobile data service to have emerged during the 30-year history of the cellular telecoms industry". The funny thing is that it is not going to change any time soon...