Earlier this year we noted that over 6 trillion text messages were sent in 2010, a rise of 41% compared to the year before. The growth may have been declining – SMS saw a 53% increase from 2008 to 2009 – but SMS and MMS are still going strong. This is in spite of social media like Twitter and Facebook having grabbed many of the headlines.
But what did it look like for the Christmas and New Year we’ve just been through?
Looking at multiple countries and carriers
Tero Kuittinen, writing for Forbes, noted a decline in the number of text messages sent this holiday season in a number of countries. Several other sites picked up the same topic, and one site even claimed that this was “a danger sign for carriers.”
Curious as we are we wanted to try to figure out what the situation was like around the world and after some time with our noses in search engines, here’s what we found (The source for each line is linked to in the first column. In the 2011 column, green indicates an increase from 2010, red indicates a decrease):
|Operator and Country||Christmas / New Year||2010||2011|
|Telenor, Sweden (MMS)||Christmas||425,000||475,000|
|Telenor, Sweden (SMS)||Christmas||10.1 million||9.5 million|
|Telia, Sweden (SMS and MMS)||Christmas||24.2 million||24 million|
|Telia, Sweden (SMS)||New Year||29.6 million||28.4 million|
|Tele2, Sweden (SMS)||New Year||34.7 million||30.7 million|
|Sonera, Finland (SMS)||Christmas||10.9 million||8.5 million|
|DNA, Finland (SMS)||Christmas||5.9 million||5.6 million|
|Hong Kong (SMS)||Christmas||25.1 million||21.62 million|
|T-Mobile, Czech Republic (SMS)||Christmas||29.6 million||27.3 million|
|T-Mobile, Czech Republic (MMS)||Christmas||235,110||277,430|
|Cytamobile-Vodafone, Cyprus (SMS)||Christmas||N/A||7 million|
|Mobistar, Belgium (SMS)||Christmas||7.45 million||9.6 million|
|Proximus, Belgium (SMS)||Christmas||14.5 million||14.5 million|
|Base, Belgium (SMS)||Christmas||N/A||6.9 million|
|Vodafone, Hungary (MMS and SMS)||Christmas (3 days)||10 million||9 million|
|Telenor, Serbia (SMS)||New Year||32.7 million||37 million|
|Bouygues Telecom, France (SMS)||New Year||154 million||200 million|
|SFR, France (SMS)||New Year||125 – 146 million||183 million|
Looking at these numbers, it seems like those who have already declared the death of SMS have done so prematurely.
There’s no denying that for most operators and countries, the volume of text messaging is declining when comparing the holidays seasons in 2010 and 2011. But it’s also true that in some cases the volume has increased, even quite substantially.
This is of course just a comparison of a few days in two consecutive years so it’s not anything statistically significant.
Perhaps when we add the numbers for this year’s holiday season we can start talking about some definite trends.
Photo by FaceMePLS.