The report on the state of the telecommunications market in 2014 presented by the Office of Electronic Communications shows that Poles sent 51.9 billion SMS last year, 0.6 percent less than the year before. The lower number of text messages sent relates primarily to SMS traffic between smartphone users, who are increasingly using instant messaging. However, SMS traffic generated by IT systems (e.g., banking systems, shopping systems) and devices continues to grow.
Roaming charges – in two years they will be history
The number of SMS messages sent in Polish mobile networks has been on a downward trend since 2012. Last year, Poles sent 51.9 billion text messages, which means that on average there were 1,349 messages per capita per year. On average, each of them sent 6 fewer SMS compared to 2013. The lower number of text messages sent translated into a decrease of 16.1 percent in revenues of Polish telecom operators from the provision of SMS services compared to 2013. Of the four dominant operators, Orange had the largest share – exceeding 30 percent – in revenues from sending SMS messages, while T-Mobile Polska had the smallest share.
The UKE report shows an increasing total number of SMS sent in international roaming every year. In 2014, around 570 million text messages were sent, up from 539 million SMS in the previous year. The significant increase in the number of messages sent is related to the reduction of roaming rates for telecommunications services in the European Union in 2014. However, the increase in SMS roaming did not result in an increase in revenues from this service, which reached €8.9 million in the third quarter of 2014 and was, by comparison, €4.9 million lower than in the third quarter of 2011.
The decline in SMS roaming revenues is compensated for by operators, among other things, by the accelerating growth of text messaging traffic in the area of marketing communications. According to estimates by Infobip, the value of this market in Poland in 2014 amounted to more than PLN 75 million.
– The report of the Office of Electronic Communications clearly indicates the growing popularity of modern communication tools based on social media. Increasingly, the role of short text messages is being taken over by applications and communicators such as Facebook Messneger, WhatsUp, Snapchat and Skype available, among others, on smartphones and tablets, whose sales in Poland are growing very fast. However, it is worth noting the growing number of SMS messages generated in A2P model, i.e. messages sent through IT systems. Large traffic of SMS messages is driven by, for example, banking or shopping systems. The number of SMS sent by enterprises will grow. I expect that the marketing SMS market will continue to grow, because text messages in marketing are still the best tool for reaching customers: effective, not counted as spam, well perceived by recipients. We assume that the number of text messages between people will decrease, while the number of messages from companies and institutions will increase,” said Marcin Papinski, Development Director at Infobip.
According to the data of analytical company Analysys Mason, Poland was for the second year in a row above the average for selected countries of the European Union. The average user in the country sent 918 messages, compared to the EU average of 845. More text messages than Poles in the European Union are sent only by the French, Belgians, Portuguese, Irish, Danes and Slovenes. The least popular text messages are in Bulgaria (106), the Netherlands (207) and Germany (220).
In its report, the Office of Electronic Communications points to a systematic increase in the number of MMS messages sent. In 2014, mobile network users sent a total of over 527 million MMS, i.e. 82 million more than in the previous year. Per statistical inhabitant of the country, there were 14 MMS messages in 2014, i.e. 2 more than in 2013. This means a year-on-year increase of 18.4 percent.