Global messages will increase to 4.1 billion by 2010

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Mobile messaging is proving strong worldwide in the face of the financial crisis, according to new data released today.

Telecommunications analyst Gartner predicts that messaging volumes worldwide will continue to rise despite the downturn, predicting a 33 percent global increase from 2008 to 2009 and a 25 percent increase from 2009 to 2010. By 2010, over 4 billion messages will be sent globally. The world's largest messaging market remains Asia/Pacific and Japan, where an estimated 1.8bn handsets are in circulation. The region has been less severely affected by the economic troubles and accounts for over half of all messages sent worldwide.

"In the mature markets of the Asia/Pacific region, SMS has seen sustained healthy growth as a result of steady price declines and increasingly generous SMS and data bundles," said Madhusudan Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner.

The study predicts that Asia/Pacific and Japan will see 2.1bn messages sent in 2010, North America 1.6bn and Europe 0.3bn, with saturated markets such as the latter posting the lowest year-on-year increases. Instead, other types of messaging such as mobile email or mobile instant messaging will become more common as mobile data becomes more affordable.