Mobile
Commentary
7/24/2007
02:37 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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Verizon Wireless Subscribers Send 10 Billion SMSs In June, Probably Have Carpal Tunnel

My thumbs hurt just thinking about it. While I am sure the bulk of those text messages were sent by teenagers, I contributed my fair share. The 10 billion figure represents a 100% increase in the amount of SMS traffic since September 2006. So, do you think text messaging has finally caught on?

My thumbs hurt just thinking about it. While I am sure the bulk of those text messages were sent by teenagers, I contributed my fair share. The 10 billion figure represents a 100% increase in the amount of SMS traffic since September 2006. So, do you think text messaging has finally caught on?I did a little bit of math. Ten billion text messages in one month breaks down to 333.3 million per day, 13.9 million per hour, 231,481 per minute, and 3,858 per second. That's a lot of bits of data flying around through the air at any given moment. But that's not all. Verizon's subscribers also sent 200 million multimedia messages (MMS), which include picture and video messages. (That's 46,296 per minute for those keeping count.)

In the press release, VP and CMO for Verizon Wireless Mike Lanman said, "We've delivered exponential growth in our messaging services for two primary reasons: our innovative devices, such as the enV, that make it easy to text, and our innovative messaging capabilities that allow customers to communicate how they want." Just last week I was sitting in a Starbucks and noticed three different teenagers using the enV to send SMS messages. I was enV-ious of how fast their thumbs were. My god, they just blaze across the keypad without even looking at it!

What about the other carriers? C'mon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Alltel. Tell us how many messages your subscribers sent so we can get a clear pictures of how many messages are sent each month across the entire spectrum of U.S. wireless subscribers.

In the meantime, if we do some more creative math, I think we can get an approximation.

There are 240.5 million wireless subscribers in the U.S. Verizon has about 61 million, or about one-quarter of the total. If we assume that other wireless companies' subscribers send and receive messages at the same rate as Verizon's (average of 164 per user per month), that's 39.4 billion total SMS messages in the U.S. per month.

I think it is safe to say that anything people are doing 39 billion times per month has reached general acceptance and widespread use in the market. I just hope that the subscribers have buckets of messages and aren't paying per message...

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