Facebook key to SMS revenue growth

8 May 2008

Mobile messaging company Acision has predicted mobile messaging revenues to reach US$165bn by 2011, with growth driven in part by integrating SMS and web applications such as Facebook.

The forecast figure is 42pc higher than a previous industry prediction by analyst firm Ovum of US$116bn.

Acision powers half the world’s text and multimedia messages. The company said that since mobile messaging was introduced 15 years ago, it has delivered a 6,000pc return on investment, but stated the growth phase in not over yet with markets such as India, North America and China still witnessing huge messaging traffic increases.

Acision suggested even mature markets like western Europe and southeast Asia still have huge growth potential.

“SMS has achieved more than anyone imagined it would 15 years ago but speculation that messaging has reached its peak ignores much of today’s market dynamic,” said Acision’s CEO, Rory Buckley.

“Peer-to-peer communication is showing no sign of stalling or declining, and already in southeast Asia operators’ efforts to differentiate their services by adding features such as out-of-office and blacklisting are proving popular with subscribers.”

Acision announced five steps it believes will double messaging revenues for operators over the next four years. These include personalising the messaging experience with added functionality relevant to specific consumer and enterprise segments, as well as using partnerships and multi-play strategies to extend mobile messaging to the fixed environment using converged messaging.

Also mentioned was subsidising mobile internet revenues through messaging integration with interactive web applications such as Facebook and eBay, mobilising enterprise applications and leveraging the mobile marketing opportunities offered by the reach of messaging platforms

“It is with application-to-peer and peer-to-application messaging that the wider opportunities lie,” added Buckley. ” We believe that capitalising on the opportunities afforded by web applications such as Facebook (essentially an enormous, web-based multimedia messaging environment) and effectively harnessing mobile marketing will enable operators to double mobile messaging revenues by 2011.”

By Niall Byrne