Business Irish

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Mobile phone texting set to go the way of the dinosaur

Roisin Burke

Published 22/01/2012 | 05:00

Mobile phone texting
Mobile phone texting

Consumers may say C U l8tr to texting, if trends across Europe are anything to go by.

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European mobile users have been ditching what has been the main mode of communication for teenagers and twenty-somethings for almost two decades, and the same will happen here, two experts say.

"It's already happening," said Martin Clancy, of US and Ireland-based mobile technology company DotMobi, which was founded by Vodafone and Google. "The long-term trend is that text and voice revenues have plateaued and are in decline," he added.

In Europe, Dutch mobile operator KPN blamed a recent profit warning partly on text and voice fall-off. The Finns, who were among the earliest adopters of texting, sent 22 per cent fewer messages over Christmas, according to mobile company Sonera.

A British mobile industry analyst has said texting will drop off as smartphone internet use thrives.

"It's safe to conclude that Ireland is probably in line with other European countries in terms of likely texting decline," Mr Clancy said.

Alex Duncan of Openmind Networks, a mobile messaging specialist that works with operators including Vodafone and Meteor, also predicts big changes. "Irish mobile operators are going to see the same double-digit texting falls that other European countries have seen," he said.

CEO of Carphone Warehouse Peter Scott noted: "Smartphone sales are growing disproportionately to other phones and the entry price is getting lower. We heard anecdotally that the normal network peaks that usually happened on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve didn't happen this year, presumably because people used free modes of instant messaging to communicate."

Right now though, Irish consumers are still texting up a storm, sending more than 12 billion text messages annually, ComReg's figures show.

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