UK mobile operators MMO2 and Orange have both reported vast increases in the number of ‘happy New Year’ SMS messages sent. Orange saw 28 million messages sent between midnight and 3AM on January 1, while MMO2 saw 15 million.
The figures are a major increase on last year, when around 14 million were sent on Orange and 6.5 million on MMO2. Both companies also saw a strong SMS performance at Christmas, with Orange users sending another 28 million and MMO2 subscribers sending 12 million.
SMS’ huge rise in popularity came despite the slowdown in mobile handset sales this holiday season. However, Datamonitor expects 2001 will be the peak year for SMS revenues. Mobile operators now need to build on the technology’s success to offer new premium services.