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Telecoms operators report steep fall in text messaging

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By John Glenday | Reporter

January 16, 2012 | 1 min read

A sharp drop in the volume of text messages being sent over the Christmas and New Year break is being interpreted by analysts as a symptom of a longer term shift away from texting toward other forms of data.

Telecoms operators across Europe recorded drops in the number of text messages being sent as users switched to social media, email and instant messaging instead.

Finland, the market where text messaging is most mature, suffered the largest drop of any territory with Finnish telecoms provider Sonera reporting a 22% fewer texts being sent this Christmas versus a year earlier.

Citigroup analyst Simon Weeden said: “The true impact of changes in behaviour around Facebook, Twitter and Apple’s latest move to provide automatic text rerouting through iMessenger have not yet been felt.”

At present SMS revenue accounts for around 14% of mobile operators turnover but this is expected to shift almost entirely toward internet based platforms over the medium term.

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