SMS still alive and well despite new breed of messaging apps

The arrival of IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) and new messaging technologies will complement, rather than replace, existing architectures used for SMS, according to Airwide Solutions

This year will be the year of mobile messaging, driven by rapid adoption of associated services and solutions in the US and the evolution of existing markets in Asia and Europe.

In the next 12 months, organisations and individual users will demand more tailored offerings, causing the overall mobile applications and services market to expand, according to Airwide Solutions' predictions of the top mobile trends for 2007.

But, according to the mobile software specialist, these new types of messaging applications and the increasing popularity of technologies like mobile instant messaging (IM) won't be the death of SMS.

Indeed, according to Airwide, last year, most than 80 per cent of operators' revenues were derived from SMS, demonstrating that new services can be deployed to complement, rather than replace, this medium.

To this end, operators will continue to view IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) as an evolving reference architecture and not a panacea, rather than abandoning or defacing the infrastructure they've used thus far.

Airwide believes that industry players will increasingly look at how to gain the benefits of IMS, such as component-based scalability, open interfaces and multi-protocol support, by using tiered architectures that support new initiatives while protecting previous investments and safeguarding security.

And, if they get it right, the fruits of their labour will be a "natural and well-timed rollout" of next generation messaging services with which operators will be able to differentiate themselves, reduce churn and increase brand loyalty and revenue.

"While there has long been hype about other messaging technologies, 2007 will see messaging revenues evolve beyond simple text-based services," said Jay Seaton, Airwide's chief marketing officer.

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