Mobile's growth is undeniable and unstoppable, as evidenced by the insane anticipation that builds up around new devices like the iPhone 5 or the Samsung (News - Alert) Galaxy S III. Of course, with the growing use of these mobile devices, the use of voice and data also increases, along with SMS and other messaging.
A new report recently released by Juniper Research has confirmed this, at least in the case of mobile messaging. The report forecasts that global mobile messaging traffic will reach a whopping 28.2 trillion messages annually by 2017 — nearly double the 14.7 trillion messages expected to be sent this year.
For Juniper's measuring purposes, mobile messaging encompasses SMS, MMS, IM, Email, RCS/RCS-e and Social Media messages. In other words, pretty much every method for sending messages with a mobile device. Of the mobile messaging categories, instant messaging services are expected to lead this growth, accounting for roughly a quarter of all traffic annually in five years.
Text Message Image via Shutterstock
These over-the-top (OTT) services — such as eBuddy (News - Alert), iMessage, Kakao Talk and Whatsapp —are already very popular as smartphone users are finding them to be a cheaper alternative to standard SMS. Traditionally, smartphone users would have contract subscriptions with large messaging allowances — often unlimited. However, as more smartphones start being offered by prepaid subscribers, more users will turn to OTT messaging.
This doesn't spell the end for traditional SMS and MMS, however. The report's co-author, Daniel Ashdown, stated that the reliability of SMS technology will allow it to stay on top for some time.
In other news, a related Juniper Research report released earlier this year states that mobile devices — notebook computers, e-readers, game consoles, tablets and smartphones — are expected to strain data networks by 2016. Specifically, the data load is expected to reach over 7,500 petabytes within the next four years. Tablets and smartphones are expected to contribute to the majority of this data use.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli