Messaging Blues

The Magic of Messaging: This blog contains stuff related to E-Mail, SMS,Text Messaging, Instant messaging, MMS etc (Mobile/Internet/Wireless/Text/IM)

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

O2 Is Top Of The Texts

Although is only about half a million more subscribers in the UK than the other operators, its subscribers send nearly twice as many mobile messages. According to the latest Ofcom figures mobile voice usage remains flat in the UK, while messaging increases.

Two Phones Each

At the end of September 2005, Ofcom’s research showed that there were 62.5 million mobile subscriptions – a figure that is higher than the total UK population. Ofcom’s tracker research shows that the proportion of UK adults with a mobile phone (about 40 million) has been stable at around 80% over the first three quarters of 2005, confirming that a significant number of people now have two or more mobile subscriptions.

Ofcom figures show that there were 62.5 million UK mobile subscriptions at the end of September 2005, 9% higher than a year earlier with MVNOs now accounting for over 5.5 million subscriptions in the UK. The numbers of reported active subscriptions for each of the four largest networks are still reasonably close, although it should be noted that the figures for T-Mobile include 4.2 million Virgin Mobile subscriptions and O2’s figures include around 750 thousand Tesco Mobile subscriptions. In addition to the four largest networks, 3 had over 3.3 million subscriptions in Q3 2005.

However while MVNO and independent service provider customers made up 13% of UK mobile subscribers, Ofcom estimates that they only accounted for 9% of total mobile revenues.

  Vodafone  O2  T-Mobile  Orange
2005 Q3 14,279 15,086 14,600 14,479
(O2 subscriber numbers do not include Tesco Mobile but T Mobile Virgin Mobile customers are included).

MMS Peeks Over The Horizon

Nearly a quarter of mobile subscribers used their handsets to take photographs. Although the average number of monthly MMS sent is still only a fraction of SMS volumes, there has been a significant increase in usage, with 36% of consumers sending or receiving multimedia messages in the three months to the end of 2005, up from 22% in Q1.

Over half of mobile users aged between 18 and 34 now use MMS, according to research carried out by Enpocket. Particularly interesting is the fact that older age groups have shown the highest jump in usage patterns: 38% in the 35-44 age group and 33% of those between 45-64 used the service in Q4, representing an increase of almost 20 percentage points for both age groups

Volume of SMS & MMS (millions)

  Vodafone  O2  T-Mobile   Orange
2004 Q3 1,462 2,382 943 1,387
2004 Q4 1,592 2,757 946 1,563
2005 Q1 1,661 3,052 986 1,668
2005 Q2 1,671 3,251 1,072 1,825

2005 Q3 1,752 3,457 1,110 1,864
T-Mobile figures for SMS & MMS do not include figures for Virgin Mobile.