Report: 72% of users now use multiple messaging services

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Seventy-two percent of U.S. users now use multiple messaging systems on a daily basis, according to a new report from Acision. However, while alternatives to SMS like IM and over-the-top mobile messaging services are gaining ground, 72 percent of users are still dependent on SMS.

"Despite dramatized media headlines indicating the death of SMS, our research confirms that while OTT messaging service usage is on the rise, SMS is still regarded as a key service by many consumers in the U.S.," said Russell Grahame, SVP and general manager of Acision North America. 

Acision's survey also found that three-quarters of respondents were interested in an operator rich messaging service that would reduce messaging fragmentation, such as joyn. Currently only SMS is able to reach all handsets, regardless of carrier, manufacturer or app.

"Time is of the essence for carriers to fast-track the launch of their own rich messaging and RCS based services, in order to create a new communication ecosystem," said Grahame.

"Whether users have a feature phone or smartphone, providing a richer, ubiquitous experience and breaking the fragmentation barrier is key for tomorrow's services, while enabling monetization of services with a new commercial model," said Jorgen Nilsson, chief executive at Acision.

SMS is still the dominant messaging platform, with 92 percent of users reporting they use it on a daily basis. In addition, 77 percent of US smartphone users currently have an unlimited SMS plan, which the study notes likely encourages continued SMS use.

Last month, Informa forecast that users across the globe will send over 41 billion OTT messages per day by year's end. In contrast Informa predicts that daily SMS usage will amount to an average of 19.5 billion messages. Last year the research firm counted 3.5 billion SMS users compared to 586.3 million OTT messaging users. Despite this gap in users, OTT traffic has surpassed SMS.

For more:
- see this release

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