In Which Emerging Mobile Market is SMS Usage in Decline?

In Which Emerging Market is SMS Usage in DeclineWhile mobile communications have never been more popular or pervasive, consumers are quickly turning away from traditional SMS and finding newer – and no cost – solutions for messaging their friends and family members digital messages and  media.

New published reports Monday morning indicate that SMS is on the decline in one of the world’s fastest growing emerging mobile markets.

Across the Middle East region today, more people are turning to cheaper ways to chat. Data from Informa Telecoms & Media obtained by Al Arabiya News shows that 2014 “will mark the first time in smartphone history that regional telecoms firms’ revenues from SMS use will decline, as more people choose to send free messages, pictures and emoticons via applications like WhatsApp and Skype.”

Matthew Reed, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media in Dubai, said this year will mark a “turning point” in the region.

“According to our forecasts, SMS revenues for the Middle East peaked in 2013 and will decline over the coming few years,” Reed says.

Ultimately, what’s true in the Middle East is also true around the world. As MMW first reported last week, global expenditure on operator messaging services, which includes SMS and MMS, declined for the first time in 2013 following its peak in 2012.

The revised Global Mobile Messaging Forecast from Strategy Analytics reveals that operator revenue from messaging services fell by almost 4 percent last year to just below $104 Billion.