• VAS represents 31% of sales from the services rendered by operators during the same period – on average 6% higher than other Latin America and Caribbean regions.
• 57% of value added services (VAS) sales are generated from SMS and MMS alone.
• 98% of mobile subscribers used SMS services over Q4 2011 - 25% of users consider that SMS services will be more important in the future.
Acision, the global leader in mobile messaging, today launched the third edition of MAVAM – the Acision Mobile Value Added Service (VAS) Monitor – revealing that Mexico has the largest SMS market in Latin America and the Caribbean. With 57% of value added services (VAS) sales in Mexico generated from SMS and MMS alone, this totals $601 million US dollars in sales over the third quarter of 2011, and year on year growth of 32%.
As the second largest mobile market in Latin America and the Caribbean, with regards to the number of customers, Mexico represents a 16% share of the total region. MAVAM indicates that VAS sales in Mexico increased by 38% in Q3 2011, generating $1,047 million USD and accounting for 31% of the mobile operators’ services sales. This is 6% above the average for the region, highlighting significant growth in Mexico and a consumer appetite for VAS, particularly messaging services.
This edition of MAVAM had a special focus on messaging services (including SMS, MMS and Instant Messaging Services), and showed that in Q4 2011, 98% of respondents are SMS users (up 3% from Q1 2011), with 59% sending more than one text message a day.
While SMS is one of the most mature services in the market, 54% of the users questioned consider that SMS will remain as important for communication in the future as it is today, with 25% considering that SMS will be even more important in the future. Only 24% of respondents questioned said they used IM services, such as Facebook Chat (49.5% of IM users), WhatsApp (39.7% of IM users), and MSN Messenger (13.4% of IM), but this is due to the lower adoption of Smartphones in the region.
When examining the consumer’s interest in enhanced messaging services to enrich the messaging experience, respondents were asked to rate 16 personalized messaging services, which they would like to have available to them, all of which were very highly received with over 50% acceptance rate. The top ranked were Multi-SIM (the ability to use a messaging service across different devices) (87.3%), auto-send to an email account (79.7%), saved message search (83.5%), reminders (79%), and receipt notification (77%), although the most important services were Multi-SIM (68.8%), Receipt Notification (67%) and SMS Alias (67%).
Not only is there a clear interest in these messaging services but users also stated that they would be willing to pay between $MEX 7.4 and $MEX 14.39 USD per month for these, with being able to save and store SMS in the cloud and the ability to create white and black distribution lists attracting the highest amounts. With consumers willing to pay a small fee for value add messaging, operators have an opportunity to extend the functionality and life span of text, generate premium revenues and increase customer loyalty and ARPU.
The use of MMS (multimedia messaging) also increased, with 32% of survey respondents using the service in the last quarter of 2011; 8% higher than the first quarter of the year. However, only 28% of MMS users send more than one MMS per week, probably because users still believe that the service is too expensive (39%). Others cite the uncertainty that the message is delivered or that the recipient’s handset is not enabled to receive MMS as the largest deterrents to usage (26%). 79.5% stated special occasions, such as anniversaries or birthdays were the main reason to send multimedia messages.
However, there is an opportunity for operators to increase their multimedia messaging subscriber base and thus revenue; 66.4% of users surveyed said they would use the service more if the price was reduced or if operators offered packages (19.6%). 35.9% of users would increase MMS use if they were certain about message delivery.
“The ubiquity, simplicity and reach of SMS continue to make it the value added service of choice among mobile users in Mexico today. Based on the results of MAVAM, with a special focus on messaging, we can see that Mexico continues to have great growth potential for VAS, particularly messaging, if operators enhance the user experience by making it more functional and relevant," said Vancrei Oliveira, Acision’s Senior Vice President and General Manager for Latin America.
“The report highlights key areas where operators can generate further revenue, such as offering new personalized messaging features to increase SMS and MMS usage and enhance the messaging experience, which can be delivered through the Acision Cloud. We can also determine there is a long and healthy future for SMS, with users stating it will be an important part of their communications for some time to come. Therefore operators need to seize the desire for messaging now by introducing services which leverage the core strengths of SMS – speed, reach and reliability – but by becoming more competitive with the cost incentives and enhanced functionality,” concluded Oliveira.
For more information or to view the complete report, please contact Javier Carreto Mares at Agency of Communication Services on jcarreto[.]acommunications-mexico.com.