SMS goes from strength to strength

SMS goes from strength to strength

Fifteen years old and going strong

Text messaging services will continue to grow, despite the technology being over 15 years old.

This was the unanimous declaration from a panel of industry experts from Vodafone, O2, Airwide Solutions and Ovum at an event to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the first text message.

"The industry could not possibly have known the impact this technology would have," said John Delaney, a principal analyst in Ovum's Consumer Group.

"From simple peer-to-peer messaging, to premium services to mobile money transfers and mobile banking and advertising, SMS has fundamentally changed the way the world communicates."

The UK now sends a billion text messages a week, although Ovum warned that mobile operators cannot rely on revenues from SMS growing at the same pace into the future.

The panel agreed that SMS is not going to be replaced by a newer technology in the foreseeable future, but would be complemented by newer services such as mobile instant messaging.

Mike Short, vice president of research and development at O2, and spokesman for the Mobile Data Association, explained that enterprises are starting to see the value of SMS as a business tool.

Integrating SMS into customer relationship management or supply chain management could offer an easy way for customers to receive updates or provide feedback.

Kevin Wood, president and chief executive at Airwide, added that any new technology will come down to price and ease of use.