Messaging To Remain Strong in 2015

Despite the rising importance of advanced mobile applications like mobile social networking, SMS messaging and voice calls will continue to be among the most commonly-used forms of communications by the mobile consumer of the future, according to the results of an independent survey of 31 leading global operators commissioned by Airwide Solutions.

In the survey, conducted by wireless analyst firm mobileSQUARED, operators were asked to choose what they thought would be the top five most popular forms of communication in 2015. While 94 per cent of operators believe that social networking will be the most popular form of communication by 2015, 87 per cent  believe that messaging, and 81 per cent believe that voice, will continue to play an important role in communications, predicting that they will remain in the top three most heavily-used forms of communication in 2015.

The study also revealed that these forms of communication will be complemented rather than replaced by rising mobile internet usage, particularly from mobile social networking. The results reveal that mobile social networking will not only be primarily responsible for the continuing rise in mobile internet usage in the future, but will be elevated to one of the core forms of communication. 

Airwide notes that this increased use of mobile internet-based services will add pressure to existing operator networks, something that operatprs are also keenly aware of, with 74 per cent of respondents saying they believe that network quality will be critical to fostering loyalty among subscribers.

The study also asked mobile operators what they felt would be the key drivers of innovation in messaging. 65 per cent of operators said they believe that entertainment-based apps and services would act as a catalyst for messaging growth.  48 per cent of respondents selected healthcare, while 36 per cent cited education and finance. In emerging markets, innovation in messaging is most likely to be driven by mobile health, financial services and education initiatives. In regions such as Africa , Airwide notes, mobile phones are acting not only as communications tools, but also as catalysts for social change.

In developed markets, operators believe that alternative forms of messaging will primarily be driven by enterprise services and machine-to-machine (M2M) messaging. 76 per cent of operators feel enterprise services will be either important or extremely important, while 64 per cent think the same is true for M2M messaging.

“The survey has shown that while the mobile subscriber of the future is changing, its core mode of communication (text and voice) is likely to remain the same,” comments Jay Seaton, chief marketing officer at Airwide Solutions. “Traditional forms of messaging will not be replaced. In fact, services such as SMS are becoming an integral part of social networking, and they will also underpin future innovation, particularly in areas such as mobile entertainment, mobile financial services, mobile healthcare and mobile education.”

You can access the full results of the survey here. And there’s a Mobile Messaging 2.0 podcast with Jay Seaton here.