MMS Fails to replicate SMS Success in Western Europe

SMS still represents the lion’s share of mobile data services revenues in Western Europe in 2007. While MMS has failed to replicate SMS’ success, many operators are looking on MMS as a medium for delivering user-created content, advertisements and news, which is likely to spur usage and adoption. Value-added features will be key to driving the uptake of mobile IM services.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, From SMS, MMS to Mobile IM- Mobile Messaging Markets Gaining Ground in Western Europe, finds that SMS revenues generated approximately €16.42 billion in Western Europe in 2007 and this is forecast to decline to €14.59 billion in 2011, with a negative CAGR of 2.9 per cent from 2007 to 2011.

In 2007, MMS and other data applications generated €7.40 billion and this is a forecast to grow to €24.28 billion in 2011, with a CAGR of 34.5 per cent from 2007 to 2011. Growth over the forecast period will depend on interconnectivity issues being resolved between European operators and the reduction in MMS charges.

Mobile IM is expected to co-exist with SMS and other data applications with some operators stating that their voice and SMS revenues have increased between 4 to 8 per cent after the launch of Mobile IM services.

“Operators that offer mobile IM services will have a headstart in marketing and interconnecting their mobile-centric communities with other cellular networks worldwide and also with the Internet IM communities,” notes Frost & Sullivan Programme Manager Luke Thomas. “This is imperative if operators want mobile IM to be as successful as SMS on a global basis.”

Integrating mobile IM and presence information to the address book will encourage the adoption of sharing contact lists across varied services and client devices, and this could become a requisite for integrated operators having both fixed and mobile assets.

Although mobile IM will cannibalise other types of messaging, particularly SMS, mobile operators can attain greater revenues from all types of messaging services if they skilfully position each messaging service along with careful pricing strategies.

Despite all these value-added features, some operators have not fully accepted mobile IM due to the maturity of market segments as well as concerns of SMS revenues being cannibalised. Nevertheless, mobile IM has the potential to be the next major growth opportunity for mobile operators.

“Mobile operators should encourage the adoption of mobile IM, enabled with presence information by building on their own mobile IM services,” states Thomas. “They should also mobilise existing IM communities in parallel, thereby playing a pivotal role in the dynamic environment surrounding them in the world of convergence, by positioning mobile IM as a smooth evolutionary rather than revolutionary upgrade/user experience to SMS.”

Once operators extend the existing SMS and voice bundles to include MMS and mobile IM, increased adoption driving individual usage of mobile IM and MMS will be experienced over the forecast period.

If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users and other industry participants with an overview of the SMS, MMS to mobile IM – mobile messaging markets gaining ground in western Europe, then send an email to Joanna Lewandowska, Corporate Communications, at joanna.lewandowska[.], with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent to you by email.

From SMS, MMS to Mobile IM- Mobile Messaging Markets Gaining Ground in Western Europe is part of the Mobile & Wireless Growth Partnership Service programme. All research included in sub scri ptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, partners with clients to accelerate their growth. The company’s TEAM Research, Growth Consulting and Growth Team Membership empower clients to create a growth-focused culture that generates, evaluates and implements effective growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan employs over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 30 offices on six continents.

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