Volume of SMS and MMS messages declining
The volume of SMS and MMS messages sent over a carrier network has declined significantly over the past several years. In 2012, each mobile subscriber was sending an average of 162 SMS and MMS messages. By 2017, this figure fell to just 82 messages. In terms of the sheer volume of messages sent, this translates to a fall from 171.88 billion messages over the entirety of 2012, to just 77.23 billion messages in 2017. Post-pay customers send the most messages, with 63.54 billion messages in 2017.
The rise of messenger apps
The fall in the volume of messages sent over carrier networks comes as messaging apps have emerged as one of the most popular app categories. Whatsapp was downloaded to iPhones in Great Britain 853,890 times during January 2019 alone, and to android devices more than one billion times in March 2019. Facebook messenger was also download hundreds of thousands of times to iPhones and android devices in Great Britain during each month in 2019.