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Australia - Mobile Data - SMS - Overview and Statistics


Previously, SMS revenues have contributed exponential returns to the mobile operators based on the cost of transmitted data with respect to overall mobile data revenue. With revenue from a simple SMS often at more than thousands of dollars a megabyte for just 160 characters, users often chose to send an SMS that is usually under $0.30 as opposed to the minimum cost of a call, often costing more than a $1.00.

But with many capped value plans using prepaid and/or postpaid, these include texts and voice in the cap and this freedom to communicate is also encouraging users to continue to use this type of messaging. However these free on-net or unlimited SMS availability have seen revenues from this market sector to the mobile operators peak in 2011. But SMSs can also provide instant user attention as opposed to an email or voicemail message that may be unread for a number of hours or days.

Into 2013 with many phone plans now excluding free data use of social networking sites, the percentage of SMS revenues may trend up again. While paid data usage ARPU may also increase as users continue the previous trends in usage. But BuddeComm still believes that users will make use of the over-the-top services, such as iMessage and mobile email by using WiFi and the mobile data networks.

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, 3.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Background information on SMS
  • 3. SMS market overview
    • 3.1 Mobile network operators – a brief look
    • 3.2 Forecasts and analysis
    • 3.3 SMS versus instant messaging
    • 3.4 SMS regulation
    • 3.5 Sexting increase may prompt legislation review
    • 3.6 Reporting spam SMS
    • 3.7 SMS technology not safe
  • 4. Overview of SMS services in Australia
    • 4.1 Background information
    • 4.2 SMS advertising
    • 4.3 Business SMS
  • 5. Usage statistics
    • 5.1 Analysis of market trends in 2013
    • 5.2 Statistical trends – 2013
  • 6. Premium SMS (PSMS) (separate report)
  • 7. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Cost of sending a standard SMS by mobile network operator – 2012 - 2013
  • Table 2 – Estimated numbers of SMS sent – 2009 - 2013
  • Table 3 – Number of Telstra sent SMSs – 2009 - 2013
  • Table 4 – The decline in SMS data revenues – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 5 – Estimated numbers of SMS sent (historical) – 2003 - 2008
  • Table 6 – Number of Telstra sent SMSs (historical) – 2005 - 2008
  • Table 7 – MMS and SMS numbers SMS sent (historical) – 2008 - 2011

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