Latin America experiences healthy SMS/MMS growth - mobile messaging applications

have shown that SMS use is still growing (albeit at a sometimes slower rate than in previous years) across multiple geographical markets.  The report points in detail to the causes of this slowdown in regions such as North America, Europe and Asia, but not to what could be widely considered as the healthiest SMS marketplace on the planet, Latin messaging applications

According to statistics from Acision’s recently released Monitor of Mobile Value Added Services (MAVAM) reports, SMS continues to be a major contributor to operator revenues in major markets such as Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.

The report shows Value Added Services (VAS) increased by 34% in the second quarter of this year and generated US$ 7.67 billion across Latin America in Q2 2013 – roughly 35% of the region’s total operator revenue. SMS and MMS is the second highest VAS contributor, accounting for 41% of all such services – second only to mobile internet which accounts for 50%.

In Brazil, SMS and MMS revenues reached $R1.18 billion (US$540.5 million) in sales in the second quarter of 2013, an increase of almost 11% from the same period 12 months previously. This was achieved despite the increasing popularity and adoption of over-the-top (OTT)/ chat and IM services with smartphone users.

This trend was also reflected in Mexico and Argentina where SMS and MMS were also highly lucrative sources of revenue for local operators.  The popularity of SMS and MMS is evident in Argentina where it contributed 56.8% of all VAS sales or $ARG 2.9 billion ($US 494.9 million) in Q2 2013. To put this further in perspective, VAS accounted for a combined total of 49.4% of total operator revenues. In Mexico, meanwhile SMS services actually outshine mobile internet as the main VAS contributor – adding a total of $MEX 7.77 billion (US$ 601.4) in Q2 2013, compared to the $MEX 4.80 billion (US$ 371.1 million) from mobile internet.

While SMS usage continues to be a vital part of operator revenues, customers are also using messaging services on several platforms and devices. According to the MAVAM report, 98% of Mexican smartphone owners currently use multiple platforms, 89 % of which use SMS as a daily communications tool.  This figure is 86% in Argentina, of which 93% still send text messages regularly.

It is important that operators take advantage of this harmonious consumer appetite for all types of messaging whether it SMS, MMS, OTT or even Instant Messaging (IM). This could be achieved through strategic partnerships with existing OTT providers or by even launching their own Rich Messaging. The adoption of such strategies will ultimately only increase the region’s hunger for messaging and further increase the contribution margin that messaging, regardless of platform, makes to operator’s VAS revenues.

For more information and previews of the MAVAM reports

  • (
  • (
  • (