Chetan Sharma Finds Dip in SMS Traffic and Revenues

Representing somewhat of an aberration from the norm in mobile, during the third quarter of 2012, mobile operators saw data revenues of $19.9 billion, not withstanding a first-of-its kind dip in total text messaging traffic and revenues.

Chetan Sharma Consulting was first to report news of the decline, which is hardly noticeable when you consider that revenues were still up 3% for the quarter and up nearly 20% year-over-year.

“It might be early to say if the decline has begun or the market segment will sputter along before the decline takes place,” the report reads. “Once the market segment reaches the 70-90 percent penetration mark, the decline begins and we might be seeing the start of the decline in messaging revenue.”

So what is behind the decline?

“The decline,” Sharma finds, “is primarily due to the rise in IP messaging and operators have been slow to evolve their strategies in the segment.”

Despite the minimal setback for SMS, mobile devices – but especially smartphones – aren’t seeing any degree of slowed momentum.

“Smartphones are now past the 50% mark in the US and continue to sell at a brisk pace accounting for over 75% of the devices sold in Q3 2012,” Sharma writes.