Report: SMS traffic to double in AP by 2010

With China and India leading the market, the number of mobile text messages will exceed 1 trillion, according to a new research.

Mobile operators looking at text messaging service as a way to prop up non-voice revenues can rest easy as the Asia-Pacific region's SMS traffic is projected to exceed 1 trillion, while revenues will double by 2010.

According to a new study by Portio Research, SMS (short message service) traffic in the region is expected to increase from 434 billion messages in 2004 to over 1.2 trillion by 2010. Revenues garnered from SMS usage for the corresponding period is estimated to grow from US$7.2 billion to US$15.1 billion.

2004
2005
2005
2007
2008
2009
2010
SMS Traffic (billions)
434.1
540.1
672.8
802.4
935.9
1,072.1
1,212.7
SMS Revenues (US$M)
7,249.3
9,948.3
11,118.4
13,321.9
14,339.2
14,660
15,103.9


Portio Research attributed one of the key growth drivers to higher mobile phone penetration in India and China.

According to the report, subscriber growth in China "continues to surpass all previous forecasts". India, with a penetration rate of "only 5 percent so far", also has "massive potential", Portio Research predicted.

The report projected that the combined markets of India and China would account for over 800 billion SMS messages per annum by 2010.

SMS in India is expected to grow from 12.3 billion messages in 2004, to 180 billion in 2010. Mobile data last year contributed about 4.7 percent of the net revenues of mobile operators in India, according to the Portio Research report.

SMS traffic in China is projected to almost triple from 226.4 billion in 2004 to 620 billion in 2010.

Globally, SMS has emerged as "the cheapest, quickest, easiest form of peer-to-peer mobile communication ever known and is still growing in all regions", stated the report.

Portio Research estimates worldwide SMS revenues will grow to US$50 billion by 2010, driven by almost 2.38 trillion messages.