Texting and data dominate phone use


The latest data on mobile phone use has revealed a huge spike in text messaging and data-based communications, often at the expense of the conventional phone calls.

Nearly 1.5 billion (1,492,400,769) text messages (SMS) were sent per week between January and May, 2008, according to the Mobile Data Association (MDA). Year-on-year growth for May 2007 to May 2008 was 30 per cent.

"SMS has established itself as a true social connecting tool and continues to have mass consumer appeal," it said in a statement.

More than 10 million (10,734,555) pictures and video messaging (MMS) were sent per week.

The MDA expects to see SMS growth continue to rise by about 30 per cent in 2008, off the back of generous airtime deals that are increasingly offering unlimited texting or fixed numbers of texts that are so high they may as well be unlimited.

New devices to promote messaging applications such as the iPhone 3G and Nokia's e71, coupled with lower roaming charges for texting will contribute to growth.

"Picture and video messaging volumes are gathering real pace," said MDA chairman Steve Reynolds.

"The proliferation of camera enabled devices has been key, but improved and automated settings around MMS set up have made the process simpler for the end user."

The number of MI users between May 2006 and May 2008 rose from about 13 million (13,140,000) to 16 million (16,425,000).

"There are powerful signs all around that mobile Internet access will supersede traditional PC access. The MDA predicts that mobile Internet will become a true rival for traditional desktop internet access," added Reynolds.


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