While mobile TV and other emerging technologies attract big headlines, one of the biggest success stories for wireless service providers is text messaging.
Text messaging soared in usage last year. In December alone more than 48 billion text messages were sent, about 1.6 billion messages per day, according to a survey conducted by CTIA, an association representing wireless carries.
CTIA president Steve Largent told attendees at its annual conference in a keynote that the December text message total was an increase of about 157 per cent increase over the previous year. "Text messaging continues to be enormously popular," Largent said.
The survey showed that in addition to text messages, nearly 4 billion pictures and multi-media messages were sent wirelessly for the last six months of 2007, which compares to 2.7 billion sent over all of 2006.
Even with such enormous growth, wireless data services still only account for about 17 per cent of all wireless service revenues, with the remainder going to voice, CTIA's survey said. In all, wireless service providers had about US$71 billion in revenues for the final six months of 2007. For all of 2007, wireless data revenues were US$23 billion, a 53 per cent increase over 2006.
CTIA said that in December, there were 255 million wireless users in the US, an increase of 22 million subscribers over the previous year. About 84 per cent of US residents have some form of wireless device, Largent said.