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Mobile phone usage: frequency of sending or receiving text messages UK 2019

The majority of mobile phone users in the United Kingdom (UK) sent text messages several times a day, according to a survey that the Ofcom conducted in 2019. In total, 76 percent of respondents sent text messages on a daily basis, while four percent never send such messages.

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.

How often, if at all, do you use your mobile phone to send or receive text messages?

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Release date

April 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period

January 2019 to February 2019

Number of respondents

2,519 respondents

Age group

16 years and older

Special properties

Those who personally use a mobile phone

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

During the survey, this question was posed as follows: "How often, if at all, do you use your mobile phone to send or receive text messages?"
The source adds the following information: "Data is tested at the 95% confidence level."

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Statistics on "Mobile devices in the UK"

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