Is It Over for SMS?

Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

Is It Over for SMS?

Effect of Unlimited SMSAccording to some research from the GSMA, all is not lost with the SMS battle against the IP messaging services. With WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat at about 1 billion monthly active users, it would seem that it’s just a matter of time before SMS becomes extinct.  However, according to this report, “SMS retains its lead in markets that were early adopters of unlimited SMS bundles,” which makes sense. Start using it and you get used to it, especially if there are no extra charges.

What does this mean for service providers?  I mean, the concept of early adopters in this market is long gone.  What’s done is done.  And the IP messaging services also offers their own value added services such as video calling and making payments. So, I don’t think IP messaging services would suddenly go away even if all the service providers offered free SMS. In fact, due to the value add offered, they will continue to grow.

But it also doesn’t mean the end of SMS.  SMS can be used on non-smartphones (not everyone has a smartphone!), and not everyone is on the same IP messaging service. But everyone can get an SMS.  Additionally, we are seeing a resurgence of SMS due to IoT, as SMS can send messages to and from non-smartphone devices.  So no, it is not over for SMS anytime soon.

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