Wednesday, February 07, 2007

SMS - how big is the market.

Another good article from New Straits Times, 16th March 2006

The SMS world

March 16:
How big is the market

BY mid-2004, texts were being sent at a rate of 500 billion messages per annum. At an average cost of US$0.10 (37 sen) per message, this generates more than US$50 billion for mobile telephone operators and represents close to 100 text messages for every person in the world.

How popular

THE term "texting" (the act of sending short messages back and forth) has entered the common lexicon.

Take a bow, Philippines. This is the world’s most avid SMS nation. SMS is a part of almost all marketing campaigns, advocacy, and entertainment. In fact, SMS is so inexpensive (messages cost PHP 1.00 (0.07 sen) to send), that several local dotcoms like Chikka Messenger, GoFISH Mobile, and Bidshot now fully utilise SMS for their services.

Not big on SMS

CURIOUSLY, France has not taken to SMSing, sending just under 20 messages on average per user per month. Some people say that this may be down to cultural factors — text messaging is associated with a fast pace of life and France is more reluctant than other nations to dispense with its traditions.

Text speak

BECAUSE of the limited message lengths and tiny user interface of mobile phones, SMS users commonly make extensive use of abbreviations, particularly the use of numbers for words (for example, "4" in place of the word "for"), the omission of vowels, as in the phrase "txt msg".

Historically, this language developed out of shorthand used in chatrooms on the Internet, where users would abbreviate some words to allow a response to be typed more quickly. However, this became much more pronounced in SMS.

In Mandarin, numbers that sound similar to words are used in place of those words. For example, the numbers 520 in Chinese ("wu er ling") sound like the words for "I love you" ("wo ai ni"). The sequence 748 ("qi si ba") sounds like the curse for "drop dead".

Website portals such as transl8it! have supported community of users to help standardise this text speak by allowing users to submit translations, staking claim with their user handle, or to submit top messages and guess the lingo phrases. The international popularity of this portal resulted in the late 2005 publishing of the transl8it! dxNRE & glosRE (dictionary & glossary) as the worlds first, and most complete SMS and text lingo book.

SMS abuse

IN December 2005, text messaging was cited for helping to incite the Sydney race riots. Text messaging being very popular in Australia, the SMS messages assisted in mobilising about 5,000 white Australians to engage in violence against those of Middle Eastern origin.

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