A world record > SMS messages to hit all-time highs

Posted On December 29, 2006

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Airwide Solutions announced expectations of an all-time peak in SMS volumes during the upcoming New Year’s celebrations.

Volumes typically increase each year, but this year Airwide predicts higher than average increases in SMS volumes, particularly in countries with developing mobile networks, such as Eastern Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia. In addition to this, a number of Airwide’s operator customers are making improvements in their messaging infrastructure specifically for the coming festive peaks.

This year, the race is on around the world to reach the 200 million SMS message milestone. The U.K. is the most likely contender, with Airwide anticipating New Year celebration SMS volumes to easily exceed 200 million, up from 165 million last year. However, Poland’s fast growing mobile penetration and high number of expatriates now living in Western Europe contribute to expectations of 200 million text messages, up from 147 million last year. Despite the main celebration in China being during Chinese New Year later in the year, Airwide expects SMS volumes for the 31st December to 1st January celebrations in Beijing and Shanghai to each reach the same figure of 200 million.

On a more modest level, but still topping previous growth, Australia could reach 30 million SMS messages as this year the country is poised to exceed the 100 percent mobile penetration mark. Similarly, Airwide is expecting a high of 50 million messages in Ireland and over 65 million in Switzerland. While text messaging has not historically been as popular as in other regions, the U.S. is now seeing dramatic growth, and the country could see a high of 125 million messages over the coming New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Dennis Magaya, Executive Head: Customer Services & Applications at South African operator Cell C, says: “We are expecting record high message peaks this year as increasing numbers of people send greetings by SMS when they are out celebrating. We have made the appropriate investments in our messaging infrastructure accordingly and are confident that we will be able to handle the anticipated peak in traffic and continue to deliver a reliable service to our subscribers during the festive season.”

“Dramatic peaks in messaging traffic are becoming more frequent and more pronounced, not only due to the continued increase in popularity of SMS and other messaging types, but also because of increases in A2P and P2A traffic.” says Jay Seaton, CMO of Airwide Solutions. “While increased traffic provides great revenue potential for operators, it also presents the challenges of ensuring that the underlying infrastructure does not become congested while subscribers send these time-sensitive messages, and that the operators’ networks and subscribers are protected from mobile fraud, spam and other security threats.”

Despite the impressive festive peaks in SMS volumes everywhere, the largest peak will no doubt be in the Philippines, where a typical day sees over 400 million messages sent.