Australia - Mobile Data - SMS - Overview and Statistics

Synopsis

For many years the SMS service has been a cash cow for mobile network operators, given that the cost of each message for customers is far higher than the cost to transmit the data across the network. As a result, SMS revenue has accounted for a large proportion of overall mobile data revenue, though this is diminishing as consumers make use of a wider range of mobile data services. Nevertheless, the SMS service remains popular since the cost of an SMS is generally up to a third the cost of a phone call, while many recipients prefer the convenience of messages rather than the interruption of calls.

The preponderance of bundled plans which include a large number of texts and voice minutes has also helped to retain the popularity of messaging, though at the expense of SMS revenue for operators.

As has been seen in a number of international markets, the volume of SMS has come under pressure in recent years from other messaging services, commonly from within social media platforms, or from services such as WhatsApp and Skype. This trend is likely to continue. Despite the market effect of such services, the ACCC in June 2014 decided that the SMS market would henceforth be regulated, arguing that the cost of messages remained high and that negotiated price agreements among operators had failed to keep their charges for the service in line with costs

This report provides an overview of the mobile data SMS market in Australia, including SMS usage statistics, and analysis of key market trends.

For information on premium SMS, where messages are sent between content providers and subscribers, see separate report: Australia - Mobile Media - PSMS Portals and Apps.

Key developments:

Short Messaging Services (SMS), PSMS, MMS, regulations, iMessage, OTT services, increases in sexting causing concern, revenue

Companies covered in this report include:

Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, VHA.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Background information on SMS
  • 3. Regulatory measures
  • 4. SMS market overview
    • 4.1 Mobile network operators – a brief look
    • 4.2 Forecasts and analysis
    • 4.3 SMS versus instant messaging
    • 4.4 SMS regulation
    • 4.5 Reporting spam SMS
    • 4.6 SMS technology not safe
  • 5. Overview of SMS services in Australia
    • 5.1 Background information
    • 5.2 SMS advertising
    • 5.3 Business SMS
  • 6. Usage statistics
    • 6.1 Analysis of market trends
    • 6.2 Statistical trends
  • 7. Premium SMS (PSMS) (separate report)
  • 8. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Estimated numbers of SMS sent – 2003 - 20014
  • Table 2 – Number of Telstra sent SMSs – 2005 - 2013
  • Table 3 – MMS and SMS numbers SMS sent (historical) – 2008 - 2011

Focus Report profile

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