There has been speculation for a while about when SMS would become secondary to Internet-based mobile messaging, but it always seemed that it the day was far off. According to one recent study, that day might be sooner than some previously thought.
Indeed, the results of the study state that 2013 will be the year that IP mobile messaging matches SMS with nearly 10 trillion of both types of messages estimated to be sent this year. This isn't altogether too surprising, however, with the popularity of OTT technologies such as WhatsApp and Facebook (News - Alert) Chat.
The research, conducted by tyntec, in association with GigaOM Research, goes on to add that the number of IP-based messaging subscribers already surpassed SMS users in 2012 and that 1.8 billion users will be sending 15 trillion IP-based messages per year by 2016. Still, though, SMS is expected to grow by five percent CAGR until 2016.
As with any technological shift, this will cause some issues with users being forced to switch between IP-based messaging and SMS due to the lack of interoperability and inconsistent delivery of IP-based messaging. Meanwhile, Internet companies, social networks and enterprises are expected to continue to take advantage of SMS' ubiquity, interoperability and global reach for A2P (application-to-person) messaging.
"The rapid uptake and flexibility of IP technology and the reliability and ubiquity of SMS messaging will keep these technologies both competitive and complimentary," said Peter Crocker, GigaOM Research analyst, and founder and principal analyst at Smith's Point Analytics, in a statement. "However, the advent of IP and new players is also creating fragmentation which is bad news for operators, Internet companies and users alike."
The results of this study fall more or less in line with tyntec's predictions for 2013 from December, which also suggested this year would see a "rebirth" for SMS. Also in December, the company increased its global network coverage by 16 percent to 750 mobile networks globally.