Mobile Messaging Worth $210bn in 2011

Portio Research has released Mobile Messaging Futures 2011-2015, a 398-page market study with detailed market analysis, traffic and revenue forecasts, plus a brand new vendor survey, on SMS, MMS, mobile email and mobile Instant Messaging markets worldwide.

The report notes that new European data usage trends are emerging. 2010 was something of a landmark year, it says, with significant growth seen in other mobile data services, beyond messaging. Trends seen in Japan and S. Korea can never be seen as “typical” indicators of what will happen in other markets around the world, as those countries stand alone in terms of leading technology adoption. However, when mainstream markets in Western Europe witness trends that recur in more than one market, says Portion, then we know a change is coming. Operations in Spain and Germany have now witnessed the changeover, where non-messaging mobile data revenues now exceed SMS revenues.

Key facts from the report include:

  • Annual worldwide mobile messaging revenues will reach nearly $210bn (£130.3bn) by the end of 2011, and break $300bn in 2014. 
  • Messaging currently accounts for the majority of global data revenues. It will be responsible for more than 60 per cent of global data revenues in 2011. SMS and MMS alone will contribute 55.7 per cent to global data revenues in 2011.
  • SMS is king. With little fanfare, SMS has long been the foundation and mainstay of non-voice service revenues, and will continue to be so for some time. It brings in 13 times more revenue than apps. In 2010, it generated $114.6bn, and will reach $126.8bn in 2011, compared to forecasted mobile broadband revenues of $58.1bn in 2011, and mobile app revenues of $9.5bn in 2011.
  • MMS is a huge success. Contrary to years of popular opinion that MMS somehow failed as a service, MMS is the second highest grossing non-voice mobile service of all time, second only to SMS. 
  • MMS outperforms mobile apps and mobile music added together. In 2010, worldwide MMS traffic hit 248.7bn MMS messages and generated revenues of $32.5bn. To put that into perspective, MMS is bigger than mobile apps and mobile music added together. It is also bigger than mobile gaming and mobile video added together, twice over. MMS is still a huge business, making a lot of money, and still growing in all geographic regions worldwide, and at a double-digit growth rate in most.
  • Europe records the highest mobile email revenue. In 2010, the Asia Pacific region was the largest mobile email market worldwide in terms of number of mobile email users, but Europe generated the highest mobile email revenue worldwide.
  • Latin America will see the largest mobile email user base growth. As an individual country market, Japan has been the biggest market for mobile email in terms of user penetration, and it is expected to maintain its position in the near future. Over the coming years, the Latin America region will have the highest growth in its mobile email market, owing to increasing smartphone penetration and the small current mobile email user base.
  • Over 311m people use mobile Instant Messaging (IM). Mobile IM is the ;small player’ in the mobile messaging mix, generating revenues of $ 6.8bn in full-year 2010, a substantial amount of money, but small compared to the $114.6bn generated by SMS. Mobile IM is an extremely popular service, with more than 311m users at end-2010.

There’s more information about the report here.